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'I can't be booked for refusing with a half-down meter'

On day 19 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign, auto drivers' half-knowledge about laws associated with half-down meters was exposed at Malad

Place: Malad Link Road and Malad station (W)
Time:  9.30am-11.30am and 5.30pm-7.30pm
Offenders Caught: 11
Commuters Speak
Abhishek Agarwal said, "Rickshaw drivers refusing to ply passengers short distances is an everyday issue. I want to go to Goregaon station, but I am waiting here for the past 30 mins."

Srikant Sanka said, "Every day after office, I wait here for nearly half an hour to find a rickshaw that agrees to ply me to Malad station. It's really frustrating."

Ramohar Naidu said, "The rickshaw drivers had gone on a strike for fare hike and they got one. Then why do they continue to act adamant and refuse to ply passengers? The drivers must mend their ways or sit at home."

Auto drivers speak
Avdhesh Pal, who was caught for refusing to ply, started arguing with the traffic cops. "I can't be charged for refusal as my meter is half-down."

Rejecting Pal's argument, traffic constable S N Kusale informed him that a driver cannot ask for fare with the meter half-down, adding that he could be booked for refusing  a passenger.

On being caught for refusing to ply a passenger to Goregaon station, Mukesh Pind said, "My vehicle is from Bandra and I want to go there."


Reined in: A traffic cop fining an errant driver.
Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi


Spot of bother
Lutaman Ram, who refused to ferry a passenger for a short distance, readily agreed to ply a passenger to Marve. The traffic police confiscated his licence for refusing to ply the lady passenger. However, Ram created a scene and said, "I do not remember when the lady passenger asked me to ferry her to Mindspace."

Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

Place: Nirmal Lifestyle, Mulund
Time: 5.30pm-7.30pm
Offenders Caught: 2
Commuters Speak
Dr. C K Pushpendra said, "They are so heartless, that they don't even ply the elderly. I asked this fellow to take me to Meena Nagar, but he carried on and made me run behind him. Auto drivers' refusals have become a nuisance."


Ask him: A driver tries to reason with a cop. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Auto driver speaks
Nandalal Yadav: "I had said yes to the old man, who had approached me. It was just that I halted the vehicle a little ahead, and he thought that I refused. It is a case of misunderstanding."

Text: Mukul Pawar

Place: Santacruz Station (East)
Time: 9am-11am
Offenders Caught: 2
CommuterS Speak
Aniket Raddi said, "A day ago, an auto driver refused me stating that the area I wanted to go to is marred with heavy traffic. These drivers must to be taught a thorough lesson, as they cause so much inconvenience to us."

Auto drivers speak
Munir Husain Sheikh: "The person whom I refused had huge stack of bamboos on him. His consignment would have damaged my auto. Generally, I never refuse any passenger, this is the first time I did and got caught for the same."

Text Dazy Verma

Place: Ghatkopar East
Time: 10am-12pm and 5pm-7pm
Offenders Caught: 7
Commuters Speak
Shobha Shedke, who approached for a fare to Lakshmi Nagar, said, "Recently, I had my leg operated and it's difficult for me to stand for long. Though the driver agreed to ply, he told that he will drop me at the highway, which is way too far from my place."

Naaz Khan, who approached for a fare to Mulund Check Naka, said, "I wanted to go to Thane, so I decided to take an auto from Ghatkopar till Mulund Check Naka and then change another for Thane. To my astonishment, the driver refused to ferry me stating that it was too long for him."

Auto drivers Speak
Ramdas Yadav: "The lady asked me for Lakshmi Nagar and I told her that I will drop her on the highway. She wanted to go till the end of the road, that was the reason I refused."

Vijay Hintyu: "The fare to Mulund Check Naka would have fetched me good sum, but it is too far away and I wouldn't have got a return fare. Moreover, drivers at Mulund Check Naka don't allow other drivers to ply a passenger from their area, hence I refused to go there."

Text: Faisal G Tandel

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