On day 76 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign, commuters expressed their grievances in finding autos that are ready to ferry them to nearby places; called on RTO officials to take stringent action against errant auto drivers

Place: Borivli Station (East and West)
Time: 10 am-11.40 am and 6.30 pm-7.15 pm
Offenders caught: 8
Commuters speak
Narsimha Gupta said, "I had to attend a meeting. But thanks to the rickshaw drivers here, I'm going to get late for it."

Suhasini Mahadik said, "The moment an out-station train halts at Borivli, all the auto drivers prefer plying only passengers who alight from the train, as it gives them a chance to make an extra buck by charging them for luggage. However, in the bargain, it's the short distance commuters who suffer the most. It's time for the authorities to take stringent action against errant drivers."

God is watching you: An auto driver curses the traffic cops who fined
him. Pic/Mahesh Chafe

Vedanta Mahajani said, "Refusals from auto drivers have become an integral part of our lives. RTO must initiate action against drivers who discriminate between short distance and long distance

Subhangi Raut said, "Since the drivers know that they are in demand, especially during morning and evening
peak hours, they utilise the opportunity to exploit poor passengers."

Auto drivers speak
Rajaram Yadav: "The passenger is unnecessarily venting out her frustration on me. I neither said yes, nor did I refuse her. But still she approached the cops and lodged a complaint against me."

Gokul Pandit: "During morning peak hours, we experience ugly traffic snarls on the Western Express Highway. Hence, I refused the passenger."

All ears: Senior PI Sujata Patil with API Digavle of Wadala division
listens to auto drivers' grudges. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

Babasaheb Yamgar: "I thought the passenger was asking me the address, rather than asking me to ferry him."

Mohamed Hussein: "I'm a fresher in this profession and the destination the passenger wanted to travel to is unknown for me. Hence, to avoid wasting his time and money, I refused the fare.""

Salim Khan: "The cold weather has taken its toll on the engine and it has developed a technical snag. I was on my way to a garage, so I had to turn down the passenger."

Spot of bother
On being caught for refusing to ply a short distance fare, driver Rahim Berwani said, "Forget about me refusing the passenger, I didn't see him waving at me."
Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

Place: Sion Junction
Time: 5 pm- 6:30 pm
Offender caught: 1
Commuter speaks
Sunil Gadge, who was in a hurry to reach Ghatkopar, said, "It took me nearly 10 minutes to find an auto that was ready to ferry me to my destination."

Auto driver speaks
Auto driver Krishna Kumar who refused a short distance passenger, in his defence, said, "The auto is almost out of gas and I'm on my way to refill the gas tank."

Text: Vaishali Chandra