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On half-meters, autos speed away

On day 33 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign unfazed by the crackdown, errant auto rickshaw drivers still refuse to ferry short distance fares, disrespect senior citizens and flout norms across the suburbs

Place: Linking Road, Bandra (W)
Time: 5 pm-7 pm
Offenders caught: 4
Commuters Speak
Reshma Sayed and Seema Lokhande, who were refused by an auto driver in the presence of a traffic cop, said, "We are in a hurry to reach Bandra station and this driver flatly refused us." Praising the campaign, they added, "I am so glad that MiD DAY is doing this campaign, these arrogant drivers must be a taught lesson."

Vatsal and Pushpendra Thakkar said, "Despite telling the drivers about our urgency to reach our destination, none of them refused to ferry us."


Always follow rules:  A traffic cop penalises an auto driver for refusing
to ply a short distance fare.
Pic/Satyajit Desai
 

Auto Drivers Speaks
Sugrim Prajapati, who refused a fare in the presence of traffic police, said, "My auto is low on gas, so I refused. Moreover, I didn't notice the cops."

Saddam Ansari: "Since I've just started driving, I'm plying only those passengers who want to travel short distances." When asked what if the passenger is ready to guide him, Ansari replied, "I would still refuse."

Spot of Bother
It was discovered that Saddam Ansari was driving without licence and badge.

Text: Samiya Dinware

Place: Borivli Station (W)
Time: 5.30 pm-7.30 pm
Offenders caught: 4
Commuters Speak
Mohammed Akram said, "The rickshaw drivers are very adamant and only take long distance fares so that they can make good money."

Neelima Karnani said, "In the evening time, most of us reach station after an exhausting day at work. However, because of these errant rickshaw drivers, who refuse to ply, people are left stranded and have to wait for a very long time before they get an auto."

Bhupath Pawar said, "The arrogant rickshaw drivers keep their meters half-down and speed away. How many rickshaw drivers will a passenger keep asking? With no options left, we have to board over-crowded buses."

Auto Driver Speaks
On being caught for refusing to ply, Pratap Yadav said, "The clutch has malfunctioned." However, upon inspection, his lie was busted.

Ramdhari Yadav, who refused to ply a passenger, said, "I'm on my way home and that's why I'm looking for fare close to where I live."

Spots of Bother
The traffic police caught Ramdhari Yadav, who refused to ply a lady passenger to a short distance, stating that the vehicle was running low on gas. On inspecting the gas tank, constable Sandeep Pol discovered that it had enough fuel to do multiple rounds. Following the incident, Yadav's licence was seized.

Rickshaw driver D Yadav in his bid to avoid a passenger from boarding his auto almost knocked down a pedestrian.

However, traffic constable Anil Shinde apprehended him and confiscated his licence.

To save his licence, Yadav cooked up a story that four passengers had approached him at once and hence he fled the spot. After performing a quick investigation, constable Shinde discovered that only one passenger had approached Yadav and to avoid him, he tried fleeing the spot.

Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

Place: Sion Junction
Time: 9.30 am-11.30 am
Offenders caught: 8
Commuters Speak
Pooja Rajak said, "I wanted to go to Bandra station, but the rickshaw driver refused me without giving a valid reason. This is an everyday problem at Sion Junction."

Babulal Madhavi, who was travelling with his wife, said, "I wanted to go to Dharavi but the driver snubbed us. They are not even bothered whether the passengers are old and sick."

Auto Drivers Speak
Dharmendra Kumar Kori: "I refused the passenger, because I've been driving since early morning and needed some rest."

Dinesh Kumar Yadav: "I didn't refuse the passenger. He misunderstood me. In fact, I was asking another driver on the opposite side to ferry them."

Text: Mukul Pawar

Place: Govandi Station
Time: 5 pm-7 pm
Offender caught: 1
Commuter Speaks
Neelam Jaiswal, who wanted to go to Aziz Baug near Vashi naka, said, "Every day, I approach at least five rickshaw drivers and hear their refusals before I get one that is ready to ferry me. There seems to be no solution to this issue."


Back off: An arrogant driver argues with a cop. Pic/ Mahesh Chafe

Auto Driver Speaks
Krishnakant Shelar: "Most of the rickshaw drivers refuse the fare to Vashi naka, because the area is always congested. And there's no point in wasting time on just one passenger."

Text: Faisal Tandel

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