'I didn't know the way, saheb'

On day 27 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign auto drivers once again used their lame excuses to refuse short distance fares

Malad Station (W) and opposite D-Mart
Time: 10 am-12 pm and
5 pm-7 pm
Offenders caught:  9

Rules are rules! A traffic cop explains to a driver the importance of rules
and regulations. Pic/Mahesh Chafe

Commuters Speak
Naresh Balani said, "Every day, I waste nearly an hour to find a rickshaw that agrees to ply me to my office at Mindscape. The drivers here are very adamant and refuse to ply passengers to nearby destinations."

Sangeeta Sood said, "Refusal is a problem that all passengers are facing these days. The rickshaw drivers should be considerate towards passengers because we are their source of income."

Mahesh Mankodia said, "I am sick and tired of listening to rickshaw drivers' refusal to ply. They fail to realise that if the angry commuters decide to boycott the rickshaws, they will lose their livelihood."

Auto drivers speak
On being caught for refusing to ply a passenger, Bitu Sinha said, "My wife has kidney stones
and I need to rush her to the hospital."

Suresh Thakker: "My rickshaw has developed technical snags." However, when asked to describe the issues in detail, Thakker was left dumbstruck. Spot of bother On being caught for refusing to ply passengers, drivers

Santosh Mali and Omprakash Pal, complained that their vehicles were fast running out of gas and were in a hurry to reach the nearest gas station to refuel the tanks. However, in both the cases, when the traffic constables checked their gas meters, it emerged that the duo was lying to evade punishment.

Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

Place: Ghatkopar (E)
Time: 10 am-12 pm and 5 pm-7 pm
Offenders caught:  6

Commuters Speak

Mahendra Rajput, who wanted to go to Nityanand Nagar, said, "When I approached the driver, he simply moved ahead without giving an adequate reason for his refusal."

Ramesh Salunke said, "The driver asked me to wait as the passenger inside was alighting. However, the moment the passenger got off, he immediately gave an excuse of wanting to pick up a few children from a school and left."

Sameeda Sawant, a police constable, said, "Most of the time, the rickshaw drivers refuse fares to Ramabai Colony. I was recently operated upon and can't stand for too long. These refusals have become a big problem."
Auto drivers speak

Ravindran Sawant: "I saw him waving at rickshaws. After realising that he wanted to go to Nityanand Nagar, which is a short distance fare, I refused because it wouldn't have fetched me good money."

Durgesh Gupta: "I have to pick up kids from their school and drop them at their respective destinations. I was hoping that the passenger would be going the same way, but he wasn't. Hence I refused."

Ramakant Bind: "I don't know where Ramabai Colony is. My rickshaw is from Santacruz and I am waiting for a fare to go to the western suburb."

Text: Faisal G Tandel

Place: Nirmal Lifestyle, Mulund
Time: 10 am-11.30 am and
5.30 pm-7.30 pm 
Offenders caught:  3

Commuters Speak
M Anees, who wanted to go to Bhandup, said, "Initially, the driver asked me about my destination, but on hearing Bhandup, he just sped off." Sharmila Pawar said, "I wanted to go to Andheri and was with my kid. However, even then the driver flatly refused to ply us."

Auto drivers speak
Bharat Bhonsale: "I would have never refused. But I had to fill gas and was heading towards a CNG station."

Sanjay Kumar Yadav: "I wanted to go to Mulund check naka to hand over the vehicle to its owner."

Text: Mukul Pawar

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