The Genesis: A large number of complaints from the general public were being regularly received against three-wheeler scooter-rickshaw (TSR) drivers for over charging, faulty meters, refusal, misbehaviour, harassment, etc. Many such instances went unreported as the passenger concerned either did not have the time or the requisite knowledge to register his complaint with the traffic police. In order to cope with this problem, the Chandigarh Traffic Police introduced a 'Pre-Paid TSR Fare Service' on lines of a similar system being run successfully by the Delhi Traffic Police since 1986. The 'Pre-Paid TSR Fare Service' is a purely optional one for the passengers. The passengers are at liberty to avail the TSR through the pre-paid system or to hire the TSR and pay the actual meter charges.
Under this scheme the city has been divided into various zones based on the distance of the destination in kilometers from the originating point i.e. the pre-paid booth. Each zone has predetermined fares approved by the State Transport Authority, U.T. Chandigarh. Efforts are made to narrow down the distance zones to the extent possible and the actual distance of prominent places like hotels, hospitals, national monuments, parks and cinemas are measured from all pre-paid booths for the purpose of determining the fare.
In order to meet the running expenses of the pre-paid booths an additional nominal amount of Rs.3/- is charged as service charge from the passengers availing this facility.
How the System Functions: The passenger, who intends to avail this facility approaches the pre-paid TSR booth and discloses his destination to the counter clerk on duty at the booth. The clerk then requests the passenger to deposit the scheduled approved fare at the booth. The chart of scheduled fare for scooter-rickshaws plying in U.T. Chandigarh as fixed by the Chandigarh Administration is displayed prominently for passengers to see and cross-check. The passenger is required to pay an additional amount of Rs. 3/- as service charge per journey of the TSR. A duly signed receipt indicating the TSR registration number, the destination and the amount charged is given to the passenger. The TSR owner waiting in a queue outside the booth is then required to take the passenger to the declared destination. On reaching the destination the passenger gives his signature on that receipt and hands it over to the driver. The TSR driver on his return produces this receipt at the pre-paid booth and collects the fare and baggage charge, if any, from the staff on duty at the booth. The traffic police personnel on duty at the booth provide all necessary assistance to the passengers and ensure that the TSR drivers and the counter clerks on duty at the pre-paid booth do not refuse any passenger who wants to avail the pre-paid services. The counter clerks on duty at the pre-paid booth are instructed to be courteous and helpful to the passengers.
Locations: At present Eight pre-paid booths are being run by the Chandigarh Traffic Police at the following locations:
- PGI Old Gate, Sector 12
- New OPD PGI Gate, Sector 12
- Inter State Bus Terminal, Sector 17
- Sector 22, infront of ISBT Sector 17
- Sukhna Lake, Sector 1
- Rock Garden, Sector 1
- Inter State Bus Terminal, Sector 43
- Sector 17 Market (near Neelam Cinema)
The public can approach Chandigarh Traffic Police at these locations to avail pre-paid three wheeled auto rickshaws service at the rates specifically prescribed by the Government, so as to avoid any inconvenience.
The Social Commitment: The Chandigarh Traffic police is running this scheme with an additional objective of generating meaningful employment for the physically challenged persons. Each of the ten counter clerks employed on daily wages to man the pre-paid booths are from the physically challenged category. Each day they work shoulder to shoulder with the traffic police to make this novel initiative a success.