Monday, October 29, 2012
Chennai's auto rickshaws are constantly taking a bad rap, that almost nobody pays any attention to one aspect I believe they are way ahead in. Granted, my data is sketchy, at best. But from what I have seen, these vehicles are maintained quite well; one would not feel repulsed at say, dirt or rust or any such inconvenience inside an auto rickshaw. I have not heard anyone complain about this either, so I believe I am justified in generalising.
A walk along the West Cooum River Road in Chintadripet would help you swallow that generalised premise. On any day, there would be anywhere between 200 and 300 auto rickshaws along the river side. The shops there specialise in getting the vehicles ready for their 'FC': the Fitness Certificate from the RTO that has to be revalidated at least once in 2 years. Some shops do only frames; others do the engines. There are shops dedicated to decals. Paint jobs. Electricals. In short here is the place to come to if you would like your auto rickshaw to take on a new life.
There are quite likely different ways of taking on 'new life' and I am sure these shops will create such new identities as well. With Pudupet - the hub of stolen motorcycles - just across the river, it is difficult to keep such ideas away. But no, we shall start the week on a positive note - and here's wishing your auto ride today is pleasant!