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Autos offer only excuses, no rides

On day 20 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign, adamant autorickshaw drivers continued to refuse travellers across the suburbs by offering their done to death excuses

Place: Ghatkopar (E)
Time: 5.30 pm - 7.15 pm
Offenders Caught: 1

Commuter Speaks
S Mehta, who was travelling with her granddaughter, said, "During peak hours, getting a rickshaw from the station area is an uphill task. These drivers don't even respect senior citizens before refusing the fare."


Hand it over: A traffic cop confiscating an errant auto driver's licence.
Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi


Auto Driver Speaks
Yeshwant Jadhav: "I never refuse anyone. I just asked the passenger to wait until the one inside the vehicle alights. But I guess he assumed that I was refusing to ply."

Text: Faisal G Tandel

Place: Santacruz Station (East) and Vakola Church
Time: 9 -11 am and 5 - 7 pm
Offenders Caught: 5
Commuters Speak
Meena Mishra said, "The rickshaw drivers in this area never ply to nearby distances. They don't even understand emergencies. Just because they know that they are in demand, they don't hesitate from throwing tantrums."

Satish Dixit said, "During peak hours, the station road is jam-packed and autos are hardly available. Those present, refuse to ply, irrespective of the distance."

Niraj Parwan said, "Refusals are a major issue here. I've been waiting for the past 15 minutes to get an auto. These arrogant drivers just drive past you, making a fool out of you."

Fatima Sheikh said, "I walked up all the way from market to Vakola Church as not a single rickshaw driver agreed to ferry me. These drivers have become very adamant and take fares as per their convenience."


In the dock: Traffic cops booking an auto driver. PIC/Pradeep Dhivar

Auto drivers speak
Shankar Buddhe: "I was stuck in traffic, when a passenger approached me. I told him that I was on my way home. However, the cop assumed that I was refusing the fare and caught me."

Vinod Vichare: "I have to go home for some work, hence I refused the passenger."

Bansraj Morya: "I have a deadline for returning the autorickshaw to its owner. I was in a hurry, so I refused."

Text: Dazy Verma

Place: Malad Station (W)
Time: 9.30am-11.30am
Offenders Caught: 5
Commuter speaks
Anand Shah said, "Rickshaw drivers refusing to ply has become an everyday nuisance. They recently called for a strike, demanding an increase in the tariff and got one. Now why do they still refuse to ply?"

Auto Driver Speaks
On being caught for refusing to ply, Vikram Biswas said, "Since my vehicle is from another area, I'm unaware of the destination where the passenger is asking me to take him."

Spot of Bother
Auto driver Ramesh Yadav's licence was confiscated after he tried charging extra from the passengers.
Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

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