'Autos should be taught a lesson'

On day 41 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign commuters expressed their ire against the constant refusals by arrogant auto drivers; want authorities to take stringent action against those refusing fares

Place: Outside Borivli Station (East)
Time: 9.30 am-11.30 am
Offenders caught: 3
Commuters speak
Mansi Balani said, "On a daily basis, I waste almost an hour to find an auto that is ready to ply me to nearby destinations."

Shaheen Khan said, "Refusal is a common problem faced by almost all the passengers. The rickshaw drivers should be considerate towards commuters, as it is because of us that they are earning a living."

Narpath Mankodia said, "These drivers fail to understand that if commuters get angry, they will refrain from using autorickshaws, thus costing them their bread and butter."

Auto driver speaks
On being caught for refusing to ply a passenger, rickshaw driver Balasaheb Salunkhe said, "The mechanic has asked me not to drive on steep roads, as it will damage the engine. Hence I refused the passenger."

Encircled: A traffic cop tries to reason with a mob of angry auto drivers,
who ran to the aid of their fellow driver after he was booked for refusal.

Pic/ Datta Kumbhar

Spot of bother
Auto driver Prithvipal Yadav, who was nabbed for refusing a short distance fare, said, "My metre has defunct. Hence I said no." However when the on-duty traffic constable Amit Wankhede checked Yadav's metre, his lie was busted.

In a desperate attempt to prevent his licence from being confiscated, Yadav came up with yet another excuse. "My gas tank is empty and I want to go to the gas station to refill it." Undeterred by his excuses, Wankhede then checked the gas meter and discovered that the tank was almost full. In his last ditch effort to save his licence, Yadav said, "I wanted to have lunch and therefore I refused to ferry the passenger." Replying to Yadav's lame excuses, Wankhede replied, "Stop giving irrelevant excuses and accept your fault." Finally, Yadav's licence was seized.

Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

Place: Sion Junction
Time: 10 am-12 pm
Offender caught: 1
Commuters speak
Momina Shamim Sheikh who was denied a fare to Dharavi Depot, complained, "I have been waiting here for over 45 minutes now, but not a single driver is ready to ferry me. It's time for people to voice their anger against these arrogant drivers and teach them a lesson for the inconvenience they cause to the passengers."

Booked: An errant driver being penalised for denying a fare.
Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

Auto drivers speak
Babulal Yadav: "Since I was in a hurry to reach home, I refused the passenger."

Spot of bother
When an on-duty traffic cop asked a few auto drivers for their licences after they were spotted refusing short distance fares, the officials discovered that all these drivers were driving without a licence and batch. However, a soon as the cops initiated action against the offenders; a mob of auto drivers surrounded the officials and confronted the cops.

Text: Vishakha Sonawane

Place: Mankhurd Station
Time: 9 am-11am
Offender caught: 1
Commuter speaks
Rajesh Koli, who claimed to have visited Mankhurd for the first time, said, "Earlier, we used to stay at Kurla and are now shifting to Mankhurd. We have come here for the first time. When we asked the rickshaw for a fare to Lalubhai Compound, he snubbed us."

Auto drivers speak
Mohammed Shaikh: "I agree that I refused the passenger. But my reason for refusal was the unknown destination he wanted to go to."

Spot of bother
An on-duty traffic cops nabbed three auto drivers for refusing fares to Maharashtra Nagar. In their defence, the trio said that the reason for their denial was the pathetic condition of the roads in the area, as it would damage their vehicles.

Text: Faisal G Tandel

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