Diwali surprise: No refusals at Andheri and Bandra
By Nivedita Dargalkar and Dazy Verma | Posted 27-Oct-2011
It appears that this festive season, the 'do good' spirit has taken over the rickshawalas. Yesterday, commuters across the city were in for a pleasant surprise, when the otherwise arrogant rickshaw drivers, observed manners.
A commuter was pleasantly surprised after she got an auto on her first attempt
They waited humbly for the passengers to board their vehicles, and plied them to their respective destination, irrespective of short or long.
A happy jolt Krutika Sharma, who was taken aback by this sudden change of behaviour exhibited by the auto drivers stated, "Everyday I wait for nearly 45 minutes at Andheri station (East) for a rickshaw to ply me to my residence at Mahakali Caves Road. However, today, it took just 10 minutes.
Moreover, the rickshaw driver readily agreed to ply me, who on any other day, would have sped away on hearing the destination."
Dev Patel, a daily commuter between Bandra East and Kalanagar, said, "I have wait for nearly half an hour for a rickshaw everyday. However, today, I managed to get one in just a few minutes. And to my surprise, there was no refusal by the driver."
Copspeak According to the traffic cops, this change of behaviour can be attributed to less number of travellers on the streets.
Traffic inspector A Patil, posted at Andheri station (East), said, "On a regular working day, the number of passengers is significantly higher as compared to the number of rickshaws on the road.
Utilising this opportunity, the rickshaw drivers only choose those passengers, who want to travel long distances, as it becomes economically viable for them." Driverspeak Rickshaw driver Ramesh Tiwari, who had been waiting nearly for an hour at Andheri station, said, "I am bored of waiting, but have no choice, as there are very few passengers. Today being Lakshmi pujan, I want to earn some money as it is considered a good omen."
Short-lived joy However, most of the commuters are doubtful about the longevity of the mannerism exhibited by the auto drivers.
Sanjana Sankhe said, "It's only till the time Diwali is on, will the rickshaw drivers readily agree to ply passengers to their choice of destinations. However, as soon as the holidays are over and the number of commuters go up, these drivers will be back at what they do best, being adamant."