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Autos milk the money train

On day 34 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign, we found that drivers outside Borivli station were only interested in plying passengers alighting from long-distance trains; snubbed those who wanted to go to nearby destinations

Place: Borivli Station (East & West)
Time: 10 am-12 pm and 6 pm-7.30 pm
Offenders caught:  7

Commuters Speak
Mansi Jadhav said, "Since numerous long-distance trains halt at Borivli, drivers are keen on plying those alighting from these trains. Firstly, because most of those who get off here want to travel to far off places and secondly, these drivers get to charge extra for the luggage. Under such circumstances, those wanting to travel to short distances are left in the lurch."


Just hand it over: A traffic constable asking an auto driver to show
his licence. Pic/Rane Ashish

Vaishali Shah said, "The rickshaw drivers here are extremely arrogant. I remember an incident wherein I had shared my auto with a senior citizen whose residence was en route mine. The rude driver got agitated and asked us to pay individually, but when I flatly refused, he asked me to get off."


Penalised: An errant driver being fined by a cop. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Spot of bother
Traffic constable Sandeep Tandel pulled up rickshaw driver Rakesh Chauhan, for arguing with Ajay Dange, who wanted to go to Liberty Garden at Malad. Justifying his refusal to ply Dange, Chauhan said, "I am not wearing my uniform today, as it has been put for washing. Moreover, I'm scared of the traffic cops that are stationed in that area. Hence I refused to ply."

However, constable Tandel reminded Chauhan that as per rules, he's not supposed to drive unless he's in his uniform and penalised him for the same. On being caught for driving without a badge, driver Ramesh Kumar said, "Before driving an autorickshaw, I used to drive a four-wheeler. Initially, I didn't have time to apply for a badge, and by the time I did, the RTO had stopped issuing new badges."

Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

Rao speaks
When MiD DAY contacted auto union leader Sharad Rao, he said, "I don't want to comment on the ongoing campaign initiated against the auto drivers. All I can say is that they are being targeted unnecessarily."

Place: Sion Junction
Time: 9.30 am-11.30 am
Offenders caught:  7

Commuters Speak
Rahul Vijay Kadukar said, "I wanted to go to Kurla, but I was refused by two auto drivers, and that too without any reason." Shahid Kazi said, "On learning that I wanted to go to Kalanagar, the driver refused to ply me. Strangely, it was the driver who had approached me for a fare."

Vijay Pol, who wanted to go to Dharavi, said, "This is an everyday problem faced by the people at this junction. Drivers refuse to ply those wanting to travel to nearby destinations."

Auto Drivers Speak
Shivanand Yadav:
"I didn't refuse the passenger, but had no choice as my meter has stopped working."

Pundalik Chirame: "I didn't refuse the passenger. I was just parking it on the side of the road, so that he could board the vehicle. However, a traffic cop caught me."

Nathuram Rathod: "Dharavi is nearby and can be easily reached on foot. Even we need to make some money, hence I refused the passenger."

Text: Mukul Pawar

Place: BARC Junction, Trombay
Time: 9 am-11 am
Offenders caught:  2

Commuters Speak
Pratiksha Rane said, "When we asked the driver to ply us to BARC he said that it was too near for him. The reason why we are dependent on autos is due to lack of alternatives." Krishna Rathod said, "With none of the drivers ready to ply me to BARC, I'm forced to walk it out to my office. It is embarrassing to give the same excuse daily to my bosses about me reaching office late."

Auto Drivers Speak
Deepak Kesarkar, who was in search of a long distance fare, said, "The ladies approached me for a fare to BARC. I refused because it was too close for me. I try ferrying those passengers who want to travel to far off places, as it fetches me good money in less time."

Text: Faisal G Tandel BARC Junction, Trombay
Time: 9 am-11 am
Offenders caught:  2

Commuters Speak
Pratiksha Rane said, "When we asked the driver to ply us to BARC he said that it was too near for him. The reason why we are dependent on autos is due to lack of alternatives." Krishna Rathod said, "With none of the drivers ready to ply me to BARC, I'm forced to walk it out to my office. It is embarrassing to give the same excuse daily to my bosses about me reaching office late."

Auto Drivers Speak
Deepak Kesarkar, who was in search of a long distance fare, said, "The ladies approached me for a fare to BARC. I refused because it was too close for me. I try ferrying those passengers who want to travel to far off places, as it fetches me good money in less time."

Text:
Faisal G Tandel

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