Yea. The first thing you will notice after reaching Chennai is, Auto meter missing.
It is fairly a easy job. You get off your train or bus or flight. Call for a auto rickshaw (Unless u have other means), tell them the destination. Hear the bell ring in the meter and you are set to go. But not in Tamil Nadu, especially in Chennai. You will be kicked out if you dare to ask to use the meter. Your whole family will repent to hear what a auto rickshaw wala told about them. Seriously, you need a special dictionary to understand. And it has to be ever updated (This is a little hyped).
I don't understand why the authorities are not stopping this. This is seriously shameful. Are we not civilized. Has the law enforcement lost the capability. I saw few banners on OMR, missing auto meter. http://www.missingmeter.com/ Was good to see someone did take some initiative. As we always do, follow the heard. I did feel proud that I too added my name to the list. Yeah, I did my part. But even after few months, I don't think there was any momentum.
Ok, someone did go a little further. They did submit a RTI wanting information regarding this. Very interesting to see there are 5 cases in 2011 and 6 cases in 2012 for autos that are running without a meter or a tampered meter. That is cool. So there does exists law under which these autos are plying caught free. Here is the link to the reply to the RTI.
I am serious, the person who had drafted this reply knew what was expected and what the ground reality was. Once in Hyderabad, I had a problem with a auto wala, he did use a meter, but I knew the meter was running faster. I warned him that I would take him to police, he tried to justify, but later he gave up and I paid the usual fare. It happened because the meter did run and was fast. No worries, nothing like that can happen in Chennai, first the meter should run for it to run faster.
No one can find what it will cost from point A to point B.
In any other city (Other than, Chennai, Tamil Nadu):
1. Check the rate card or turn on the meter
These are few depending variables in Chennai (Tamil Nadu):
2. How you are dressed
3. What time of the day it is
4. What is the weather like
5. What is the traffic condition
6. How many persons to travel (Variable starts after 3)
7. What is the petrol price. This is a very important variable. Somehow, the price automatically changes even if there is a Rs.1 increase in petrol or diesel.
8. If you have a native accent when you talk in tamil
9. If you can talk in tamil first of all. If no, be happy, you will be taken for a ride.
10. If you know exactly where the place is and roughly know the route. Else, you will be all over Chennai without even knowing you were going in spirals, not in circles. Our guys are clever.
Wow. It is a delight to get a auto, bargain for the best price, trade-off, hop on to it and reach the destination. Why should someone look at a rate card for this, they are old school. Grow up guys.
With all this, I seriously think our state government should think of applying for a patent before any other city copy our cultural heritage. Man... Idhu Namba Singara Chennaingoooooo....