The next time you pay the auto fare as per the tariff card, ensure that the card, which the driver is showing you is authentic. Since the inception of the new auto fare in the island city (April 20), the Regional Transport Office (RTO) has received numerous complaints from commuters about drivers fleecing them by showing bogus tariff cards.
Also, it has been reported that some auto drivers use genuine Mumbai tariff cards during daytime, but change over to Thane tariff cards during nighttime — where the tariff is more — to fleece passengers.
‘Action will be taken’
Assuring that all the guilty drivers would be put behind bars, V N More, state transport commissioner, said, “I request all the passengers, who commute via auto rickshaws to be careful while paying the fare. If they find tariff cards to be suspicious or bogus, they should immediately register a complaint on our toll free number, or go to the nearest police station with the driver and lodge a complaint against him.”
Last Saturday, the RTO officials detained two persons from Vile Parle and Jogeshwari, respectively for distributing fake tariff cards among auto drivers. “We have already distributed 45,000 genuine cards and will be distributing another 15,000 to 20,000 cards today,” said More. He added that the RTO officials have been asked to keep a track of such incidents, register complaints and take immediate action.
“We do it (change cards) during nighttime, because chances of getting caught are minimal. Also, passengers don’t argue much in the night,” said Ramdayal Yadav, an auto driver from Borivli. Another auto driver, Pappu Singh from Bandra, said that though one of his friends gave him a bogus tariff card, he decided to charge using the genuine one, as he is scared of the police. “If it’s a long-distance fare, only then it’s profitable to use bogus cards,” said Singh.
Anil Galgali, president of Athak Seva Sangh, an NGO, said that he had recently caught a driver using bogus tariff cards. “When I challenged the driver over the card’s authenticity and asked him to come to police station, he threw away the cards at Ghatkopar. Following the incident, I lodged a complaint with the RTO. A notice has been sent to the driver Sudam Tukaram Jadhav (MH 03 AA 9436) for using bogus tariff cards,” said Galgali. Frederick D’Souza, working president of Mumbai Rickshawmen’s Union, said, “The fake card business won’t stop until the police takes stringent action against culprits. There are a few drivers, who are unaware of the fake tariff cards, and are unintentionally using the fake ones.”
Want an original fare card?
MiD DAY had published the new auto fare in its edition on April 25, (Cut & Keep).