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Old Gurgaon's bus stand receives a gift of pre-paid auto-rickshaw booths
Old Gurgaon's bus stand makes way for the third pre-paid auto booth this Monday. Gurgaon Police Commissioner Alok Mittal, who inaugurated the booth said ''we will be opening another one at IFFCO Chowk soon.''
The booth was opened on Monday a couple of months after the other two previous booths were inaugurated, one at HUDA City Centre Metro Station and the second one at the other railway station.

''The move is aimed at tackling the problem of over-charging by auto- rickshaw drivers and increasing the safety of passengers”, Mittal said to the Indian Express. The booth operator said ''there isn't a lot of traffic for auto- rickshaw here, so there is unlikely to be any rush. It is probably why the auto- rickshaw drivers don't have a problem with the pre- paid system.'' The booth operator, managed to complete only around 30 transactions per day.

Even after the installation of the new booth, the auto- rickshaw drivers can still be seen crowding the Metro Station instead of booths. According to Mr. Mittal, it is the manual generation of pre-paid slips that takes time resulting in auto- rickshaw drivers waiting for a long time to get their passengers. He also said ''In the last three days, we have computerized the system of slip generation. Also, there were a few discrepancies in rates. They have been rationalized now. In the coming months, the traffic at the booth is going to increase.'' Auto- Rickshaw driver, Arun Kumar stationed at Huda City Centre told The Indian Express ''There were over 10 policemen this morning and they penalised many drivers. No wonder very few are directly interacting with passengers today. But otherwise, what happens is that we keep standing in line while an auto, stationed elsewhere, ends up taking the passenger.''

"The daily number of slips could double if more men were placed at the booth,” said the Traffic Police officers placed at the booths. Presently, the average number of daily slips generated at the booth does not exceed 200. ''We are just five people. And look at the sheer number of auto-rickshaws around this place. They leave the booth and pick up their own customers. The auto that depends on the booth suffers,'' an officer said. ''Besides, if we challan them, they thrust a Rs 100 note at us and challenge us to challan them. They don’t care. We can’t even force them or they end up lodging a complaint against us for harassment,'' the officers said.

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