No respite in sight

On day 57 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign, passengers found no abatement from the errant drivers who kept snubbing short distance fares, either by giving silly reasons or speeding away

Place: Borivli (E)
Time: 10.15 am-11.45 am
Offenders caught: 3
Commuter speaks
Yogesh Verma, who was refused a fare to Jogeshwari, said, "He (driver) told me that the auto didn't have enough gas. However, he readily ferried another passenger wanting to travel long distance."

At loggerheads: An auto driver argues with a traffic cop over his
apprehension. Pic/ Sameer Markande

Auto driver speaks
Ram Pandey: "I wanted to go to Marol. Besides, the gas tank was almost empty."

Spot of bother
An on-duty traffic inspector chased and nabbed rickshaw driver Krushna Naik, who sped away after refusing an elderly lady a short distance fare. The constable had earlier seen him refusing the fare and had even tried stopping him by blowing his whistle, to which Naik didn't pay any heed.

When the constable asked Naik for his documents, it emerged that he was driving without a licence and only had a receipt on him, stating that his licence had been confiscated for jumping a signal. In the absence of relevant documents, the constable confiscated Naik's vehicle and took it to the nearest traffic police chowkie.

Text: Shashank Rao

Place: BARC Junction
Time: 10 am-12 pm
Offenders caught:  2
Commuters speak
Sharwari Tavde said, "Auto drivers refusing to ply commuters wanting to go to nearby destinations is an everyday affair."

Hari Kutti said, "I had to go to Bandra and have been waiting for over 30 minutes to find an auto."

Take it: A traffic cops hands over the licence back to the driver after
thorough scrutiny. pic/Datta Kumbhar

Auto drivers speak
Shashikant Gyandev Kurne: "Aren't auto drivers allowed to have breakfast?"

Ramesh Mane: "Why will I refuse passengers? After all, they are my bread and butter."

Text: Dimpi Thakkar

Place: Sion Junction
Time: 6 pm-7 pm
Offenders caught: 2
Commuters speak
Faisal Shivani said, "I had to go to T-junction and so far, I have been refused by at least five autos. It's been over 20 minutes now."

Nikita Singh said, "Refusal by auto drivers have now become an integral part of commuters' lives. Chances of them (auto drivers) toning down their arrogance is next to impossible."

Auto drivers speak
Rajendra Mandal: "I did not refuse any passenger. I was on my way home when the cops arrested me."

Sanjay Shinde: "My shift was over and had to hand over the auto to the other driver. Hence I refused the

Text: Vishakha Sonawane

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