Railways to directly operate auto-service in Kannur railway station

Kannur auto service
Representational Image. File Image: Manorama.

Kannur: The Railways has finally taken up the responsibility to end the long pending concern of the passengers depending on auto rickshaws from the Kannur railway station. The station will have an auto rickshaw stand inside the station compound which will be fully controlled by the Railways. Auto drivers and passengers frequently haggle over higher charges demanded by the drivers.
Kannur is the busiest station after Kozhikode in the Malabar region. There was a pre-paid auto counter operated by the corporation earlier. Since the counter was closed, the auto drivers have been demanding charges higher than the normal rate.

The auto counter will start functioning from July first week. The railway is planning to allocate passes to 100 autos with a town permit in the first stage with a permit fee of Rs 750 which has to be renewed every three months. The drivers have to present a certificate from the police that they have not been involved in any criminal cases to ensure the safety of the passengers. Railways will provide identity cards to these drivers and also place railway stickers on the auto. Once it is launched, the authorities would not allow other drivers to pick up passengers from the station.

"We have decided to introduce such a system following a large number of complaints from the passengers. The passengers who reach the station late at night are having issues with the drivers over the rate. There were incidents that some auto drivers were not willing to take some trips. Nobody has the details of the drivers' and it causes safety concerns. So as a solution to the problem, we are introducing an auto counter controlled by the railway inside the station compound. We will not allow the drivers to operate if any passengers raise a complaint against the driver,'' a railway official said.

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