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'It's our right to refuse fare'

On day 75 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign, rogue auto drivers went about their daily chore of snubbing short distance fares, gave lame excuses to justify their conduct

Place: Borivli Station (E)
Time: 9.30 am-11.30 am
Offenders caught: 8
Commuters speak
Avantika Ghadgil said, "Every morning, I ask around 10 autos before I board the one that agrees to ply me. Most drivers near station area are only interested in ferrying out-station passengers, as they can make an extra buck by charging them for luggage."

Sonia Chandra said, "There should be a separate rickshaw stand for local commuters, as most of the auto drivers snub them for out-station passengers. The drivers do this because they get more money from these passengers."

Mahesh Goragandhi said, "It's incredible to discover that local auto drivers don't know places within Borivli. Surprisingly, they are spot on with the locations when it comes to ferrying long distance passengers."


Hand it over! A traffic cop asks an auto driver to hand over his licence
after he refused a fare. Pic/Rane Ashish


Auto drivers speak
Veer Yadav: "It is the rickshaw driver's right to refuse a fare if he wants to."

Sunil Yadav: "By the time I could understand the destination the lady passenger wanted to go to, she went ahead and boarded another auto."
 
Rajnath Sharma said, "I have been in this profession for several years, and till date, have never refused a single fare. The traffic police are unnecessarily penalising me for refusal."

Spot of bother
When on-duty traffic constables pulled up rickshaw driver Arjun Verma for refusing to ply a passenger who had luggage on him, he created a ruckus. "Passengers must pay extra for luggage. Looking at the passenger, I felt that he did not have the financial capability to shell out extra, hence I refused him."

Disgusted by Verma's idiotic reasoning, one of the traffic constables gave him an earful for his comments on the passenger and confiscated his licence.

Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

Place: BARC Junction
Time: 9.45 am-12 pm
Offenders caught:  2
Commuters speak
Anceeta Silvel said, "It has been over 20 minutes since I've been waiting for auto that is ready to ply me to Shivaji Nagar. However, none of the drivers appear to be interested in the fare."

Ramesh Ghale said, "I'm fed of these auto drivers and their errant behaviour. It appears that they have taken an oath to snub short distance passengers."


In the dock: Traffic cops fine an errant driver.
Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi


Auto drivers speak
Rajnath Pal: "Since I had to refill the gas tank, I refused the passenger."

Faisal Baig: "The passenger wanted to travel on a sharing basis. I had to refuse him because I strictly ply by meter."

Text: Anamika More

Place: Sion Junction
Time: 9.30 am-11.45 am
Offenders caught:  2
Commuter speaks
Mehrunnisaa Khan said, "I want to go to 90-feet Road that is close by. Hence, none of the drivers are ready to ply me. It's been over 10 minutes now, since I've been waiting for an auto."

Auto drivers speak
Sameer Mohammad: "Refusals by auto drivers is nothing new. I'm not the only one refusing passengers. Look around; there are so many drivers who are refusing short distance fares. It's my bad luck that I got caught for the same."

Ganesh Bhosle: "I was at the fag end of my shift and was looking for a fare to Chembur, as the owner of the vehicle resides there. Since the passenger wanted to travel in the opposite direction, I refused her."

Text: Vaishali Chandra

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