On day 65 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign, commuters had to slog it out to find autos that were ready to ply them short distances

Place: Borivli (East)
Time: 9.30 am-11.30 am
Offenders caught: 6

Commuters speak
Swati Shirke said, "An auto driver ready to ply a short distance fare is rarity. They don't even care about a passenger's emergency."

Sonal Ghatpande said, "Citing inflation, auto drivers ask for fare hike from time to time and state that their demands are genuine. However, when it comes to plying short distance fares, they are least interested."

Auto drivers speak

Santosh Masal: "I didn't even interact with the passenger, so where does the question of refusal arise?"
Shivsagar Pal: "I never refused him. I only asked the passenger to meet me a little ahead."

Spot of bother

After Ramnarayan Kahar's licence was confiscated for refusing a short distance fare, the auto driver started cursing the traffic cops and accused them of falsely implicating him. "This is grave injustice. Just because the traffic police have authority to book us, they can't misuse their powers."

Similarly, auto driver Govardhan Yadav, was booked for refusing to ply an elderly passenger to a nearby hospital. However, this didn't go down well with Yadav and he started arguing with the cops.

"You cannot book me for refusal. I have clean record and have never been arrested for refusing a passenger. It was because my vehicle had developed a technical snag, I had to refuse the old man a fare."
Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

Place: Sion Junction
Time: 11 am-12.30 pm
Offenders caught: 3
Commuters speak

Kumar Potan said, "Drivers refusing to ply you to Dharavi's 90 Feet Road is a routine occurrence."

Akbar Pathan said, "It's annoying when you are in a hurry to reach your destination and these errant drivers refuse to ferry you."

Auto driver speaks

Raju Kori: "Since I'm not going in that direction, I refused the passenger."