It's business as usual for errant autos

On day 25 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign, a rogue rickshaw driver tried fleecing a newcomer to the city while another tried to bribe a traffic cop to evade fine; silver citizens complain of unsympathetic behaviour

Place: Malad Station (W) and Opposite D-Mart
Time: 10 am-12 pm and 5.15 pm-7 pm
Offenders caught:  19
Commuters Speak
Shikha Valunj said, "Of late, I have started leaving early in the morning, so that I don't waste time on finding an auto that is ready to ply me to my office at Interface."

Shankar Gupta said, "These drivers have no respect for the elderly. It has become next to impossible to find an auto that is ready to ferry me to my residence at Liberty garden."

Shomita Chatterjee said, "The rickshaw drivers are extremely rude and think that people are at their mercy."

Playing it cool: An auto driver downplays traffic cops' warning after
being fined. PIC/MAHESH CHAFE

Auto Drivers Speak
On being caught for refusing to ply a passenger, Mohammed Shamim said, "I had to deliver a tiffin box to my kid at his school, hence I said no."

Ram Verma, who was caught for refusing three passengers in a row, said, "I have been driving since 5 am and was on my way back home to Charkop for lunch."

Spot Of Bother
Dilip Chemkar was caught for demanding extra from a passenger and refusing to ply him by meter. PSI K P Shinde said, "Since the passenger was new to the city, the rickshaw driver thought he would fleece him. However, timely intervention on our part foiled his bid."
On being caught for refusing to ply a passenger, Mohammed Ansari tried bribing the officer. However, none of his tactics deterred the cop from fining him.

Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

Place: Ghatkopar (East)
Time: 10 am-12 pm and 5 pm-7 pm
Offenders caught: 4
Commuters Speak
Sheetal Koletkar, who wanted to go to Tilak Road, said, "Every day, at least five rickshaw drivers refuse to ply me. It's nearby and hence, most of the drivers don't want to go there."

Rahul Palve, a sales executive in Mankhurd, said, "Refusals from auto drivers has now become a routine."

B N Singh, a senior citizen said, "The station area is always congested during peak hours. I asked the driver to ferry me to Amar Mahal, but he refused. Now that the traffic cops have caught him, he deserves to be punished for his rudeness."

Auto Drivers Speak
Ramesh Yadav: "The lady approached me for a fare to Tilak Road. The reason why I said no was because I had never been there."

Baburao Barade: "The passenger approached me for a fare to Mankhurd. It was a long distance fare that would have fetched me good money. However, I was on my way for refuelling."

Manoj Kumar: "I did refuse the passenger to Amar Mahal. But the fact is, I received nearly 10 calls from the rickshaw owner, asking me to hand over the vehicle to the driver working in the next shift."

Text: Faisal G Tandel

Place: Kala Nagar
Time: 5.15 pm-6.45 pm
Offenders caught: 10
Commuters Speak:

Meena R Hoole, who was denied a fare thrice, said, "I face denials on a regular basis. They behave as if they are doing a favour by plying us. We are paying for their services, aren't we?"

Kishori Munde said, "I've wasted hours behind finding an auto. These drivers literally make us beg to be plied to our respective destinations, which is frustrating. Besides, they are always ready with their stupid excuses."

Keep quiet! Traffic cops reprimands a driver. pic/Santosh Nagwekar

Auto Drivers Speak
Mohammed Naushad, who was caught for refusing a passenger and speeding, said, "I have a passenger waiting for me at Bandra station, hence I refused."

Raju Parappa: "The front tyre of my auto is in a bad shape and might burst any moment. I was on my way to a mechanic. Besides, I didn't notice the passenger, so why should I wait."

Raj Kumar Pandey: "I have to return the auto in Kurla. Since the passenger wanted to go in the opposite direction, I refused."

Text: Samiya Dinware

Place: Nirmal Lifestyle, Mulund
Time: 5.30 pm-7.30 pm
Offenders caught: 2
Commuter Speaks
Farhana Mohammad Shaikh said, "I was with my husband and kid, and we wanted to go to Vikhroli, but none of the drivers agreed to ferry us. And for reasons best-known to them."

Like I care: A driver smiles after being fined. PIC/Datta Kumbhar

Auto Driver Speaks
Mahesh Badelal Yadav: "I am a new driver and it is time that I go hand over the auto to its owner. I work in shifts. Anyways Vikhroli is too far."

Text: Mukul Pawar

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