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Commuters feel the pinch in Baramulla due to overcharging by e-autos

Despite their lower operating costs, electric autos are charging the same fares as their petrol counterparts, leading to discontent among passengers
12:47 AM May 07, 2024 IST | ALTAF BABA
commuters feel the pinch in baramulla due to overcharging by e autos
GK/File
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Baramulla, May 6: The streets of Baramulla district in north Kashmir are witnessing heated confrontations between commuters and electric auto drivers due to the alleged overcharging.

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Despite their lower operating costs, electric autos are charging the same fares as their petrol counterparts, leading to discontent among passengers.

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Ghulam Hassan, a commuter, while highlighting the absence of fare guidelines from the transport department, a main reason for fare disparity between the petrol and electric autos, said that electric autos should charge significantly less than petrol-run ones.

"The disparity in running costs between electric and petrol autos is evident. However, without intervention from the authorities, accountability remains elusive, leaving commuters at the mercy of overcharging drivers," Hassan said.

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He said an electric auto equipped with a 7.5 Kwh lithium-ion battery costs approximately Rs 30 to fully charge, providing a mileage of around 75 kilometers per charge. Despite the clear difference in operational expenses, the lack of regulatory oversight has emboldened electric auto drivers to maintain parity with petrol fares.

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Fayaz Ahmad, another commuter, said that there is an urgent need for transport authorities to address the issue. "The unjustified pricing by electric auto drivers is exacerbating the burden on commuters. It's imperative that authorities intervene to rectify this situation," Ahmad said.

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Another concern is being raised regarding the proliferation of electric autos, exacerbating traffic congestion in already crowded markets. A transporter expressed apprehension over the increasing number of commercial vehicles, and said with the addition of electric autos there will be further issue of space in the market.

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"With the streets already congested due to the surplus of commercial vehicles, the influx of electric autos only exacerbates traffic disruptions. The lack of designated stands further compounds the issue, leading to chaos on the roads," the transporter said.

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