If you have stayed in the city of Bangalore for any length of time which included travel by autos then you will, no doubt, have ‘fond’ memories of those experiences travelling by the famous Bangalore autos. You’ll also probably recall paying the auto tax of Bangalore.
If all the stories related to the autos were to put in a book, even a book with 10,000 pages, printed in the smallest font readable by humans, would not be enough to cover the misery that they bring upon the daily commuter.
So What Is The Auto Tax Of Bangalore?
For this piece, we will restrict ourselves to the auto tax. Now you might be wondering if this auto tax is something the government slipped in while you were sleeping, but it’s not. It is a tax imposed on the unsuspecting commuter when they hail an auto in Bangalore.
This tax, imposed by the auto driver, can vary in its form. It can be applied as a stand-alone tax or in combination with other auto taxes. So let’s take a look at these taxes, shall we?
The Sundown Tax
This tax is applied when the commuter lacks the foresight to plan his or her travels properly or has no other means of transportation available to him/her and hails an auto between the sun-down and 6 am. If you have the indecency to stay out of your house after the sun goes down, then you must pay a tax.
The Late-Night Tax
This is a tax which can be considered a variant of the sundown tax. It is generally applied if a person is foolish enough to hail an auto after the hours of 8 pm. The main components of this tax are the charge by meter plus 50% extra as prescribed by the RTO.
The RTO has prescribed specific timing for such charges, but auto guys don’t have the time for trivia like that. Therefore, an arbitrary number that feels like enough compensation for bothering the auto guy at that late hour of the night is applied.
The Super Late Night or Early Morning Tax
Once again we hit upon a variant of the previous two taxes. This time you pay if you hail an auto in the wee hours of the morning. This tax is generally paid because if you don’t agree to pay the tax, you won’t find an alternate mode of transport at that odd hour. For being stuck in this jam, you must pay a tax.
The “I Don’t Know the Route” Tax
If you get into an auto and have the audacity, the absolute bare-faced cheek, to live in an area the way to which the auto driver doesn’t know, then you are liable to pay this tax. You pay it because the auto guy has gone out of his way to do his job and get you where you need to go.
The Destination is Too Far Tax
If you have the nerve to hire an auto to go to someplace that is more than 12 odd km away then you are punished by being made to pay this tax. It’s an amount that you may have to pay over the meter fare, or it could be an amount that you have to agree to pay before the guy consents to take you. In either case for being far away from your destination, you must pay a tax.
The, “I have To Come Back Empty” Tax
There are times when you make the mistake of asking an auto guy to take you to a place from where he might not get a fare back to his area. It is your fault that you didn’t arrange for a return fare for him. Therefore, you must now pay extra to employ his services. For your thoughtless and selfish behaviour, you must pay a tax.
The Rain Tax
Something no one ever told you is that autos are not made of metal, rubber tubing and fabrics. They are made of sugar and during the rains, they are in grave danger of dissolving in the rain. The rain may even remove them from existence altogether. If it’s raining and you require an auto fellow to risk getting his auto wet, then you need to pay a tax. After all, it is your fault that it is raining.
The Out of Towner Tax
This can also be called the new to the city tax and is paid by those who come to the city for the first time. Actually, someone new to the city is a prime target to be duped because they don’t know the city, which is their fault. For having made that error, you must pay a tax.
The Too Much Traffic Tax
Now let’s imagine a situation where you want to get from A to B, and you hire an auto. There is just one problem. Between you and your destination are stretches of road that are full of traffic. This means that not only does the poor helpless auto guy have to take you there but now he has to deal with traffic! For not having the ability to make traffic disappear and having put him, the auto driver, in this position, you must pay a tax.
The Bad Roads Tax
Now, this is a tax that is paid by those who don’t have the courtesy to live in an area that has good roads. It is also paid by those who have the inhumanity to hire an auto to take somewhere with bad roads. Driving an auto on bad roads might mean that the auto will suffer from excessive wear and tear. For bringing this misery upon the auto driver and not having the ability to magically turn the bad roads into silky ribbons of paving perfection, you must pay a tax.
Today is a holiday tax
Do you want to go out on a holiday? You have no humanity! Even on this day, you call upon auto fellows to take you places! HOW COULD YOU, YOU MONSTER!! For being so heartless and helpless, you must pay a tax.
Only the most hardcore vultures come out on this day. Sometimes, on days when the city is shut, aka bandh, you decide that you want to go somewhere. Worse, you don’t have the common sense to have your transport with you and end up inconveniencing the auto guy by hiring him to take you. For your lack of planning and insensitivity, you need to pay a tax.
The destination is out of my way tax
All the poor auto guy wanted to do was to go home after a long hard day of fleecing people. Yet here you are, inconsiderate and self-centred, asking him to take you to a place that might take him a bit off his route home. For this, you must pay a tax.
The You Earn a Lot, Tax
This is a special tax that is not imposed as much as it is implied. Let’s say you want to hire an auto to go to a tech park or someplace that is a little swanky. It could be a mall or a five-star hotel. You hire an auto to get there; the auto fellow immediately decides that you are someone who is rolling in so much money that you don’t know what to do with it. For being that rich, you must pay a tax.
(I had almost forgotten this tax so thanks to my colleagues for reminding me of it!)
The Last Minute Surprise Tax
Now, this tax is not like the rest. This tax is not announced when the contract of transportation is agreed upon. This tax is demanded upon reaching the destination. This thing jumps up to attack you like a ninja coming out of the shadows. It has the same effect an M Night Shyamalan movie has on you.
This surprise tax leaves you dazed, confused, a little mad and considerably poorer. This tax is applied after you reach your destination. Once you reach, the auto chap will increase the amount you need to pay him.
It is just sad, the amount we pay as tax to the auto wala. We pay so much in taxes to them that the government should add another section to the IT Act of 1961. It should also provide us income tax benefits for having paid all these ludicrous taxes on autos.
Do you know what my favourite part is, though? It’s not the taxes you have to pay or how the situation may call for an amendment to the IT Act. It’s that the auto fellow would RATHER roam around EMPTY than take you anywhere for the actual cost of the ride!
P.S. For those of you who didn’t quite get it, there is a lot of sarcasm in this post. Have fun finding it! 😉
P.P.S. This post appeared on another site owned by me. That site is now shut but this post was something that I wanted to keep alive on the internet. So it has found a new home on this site. So please show it some love in its new home and share, like, comment, etc. etc.
This is not my only rant. I went on a rant about the Cadar Trek too. You should probably read that… just in case you plan to go for this trek.