Chennai: A Keralite mistakenly tagged his Twitter complaint about overcharging by autorickshaws in Salem in Tamil Nadu to the Salem police department at Oregon in the US, setting off an interesting exchange of tweets.
Arunanand T A, hailing from Kochi in Kerala, was tweeting about high fares charged by autorickshaws in Yeracaud in Tamil Nadu, unaware that the Salem police in the state did not have a Twitter handle.
The complaint was followed by a series of tweets from either side of the globe that also revealed that a city by name Madras (Chennai's erstwhile name) was located in another part of Oregon state, whose capital is Salem.
In a series of tweets, Arunanand complained about Rs 50 being charged by an autorickshaw driver for a 1.5-km ride on his recent visit to Yercaud hill station, near Salem, about 330 km from Chennai.
"@SalemPoliceDept are you aware that the autorickshaws overcharge tourists in #Yercaud? Rs 50 for 1.5 km. Is there a system that looks into such issues here? @CMO TamilNadu @VisitYercaud," he tweeted.
He also wanted a response from the Salem city police.
However, he unknowingly tagged the official twitter handle of Salem Police Department at Oregon in the US.
The Salem police promptly responded to his tweet, saying "We are the Salem police in Salem, Oregon, USA."
Responding, Arunanand admitted his mistake, saying he unknowingly tagged them.
"I knew US had a Salem whilst Tamil Nadu State in India also has one. Never thought I would wrongly tag you folks. Thanks for the reply, nevertheless! Good Day," he tweeted.
But curiosity got the better of him and he dashed off another tweet asking them whether there was a city named Madras in Oregon.
"Do you guys have a Madras too in Oregon? That's the name of the capital of Tamil Nadu State!," he tweeted.
"Yes, we do. It's in another part of the State. However, and not too close to #SalemOR," Salem Police replied.
Madras was renamed Chennai in 1996.
Before concluding, the Salem police department said, "We know @twitter account has been beneficial to our community for engagement and understanding. Best regards from our community to yours."