'Passenger said that he would pay me extra'

While auto drivers continued with their errant ways, MiD DAY found some passengers  who were bribing the drivers to break the queue and ply them, inconveniencing others

Place: Ghatkopar Station (W)
Time: 9 am - 11 am
Offenders caught: 22
Commuters speak:
N Sakanya, a Naval officer, said, "Instead of making stupid excuses about their meters being faulty, the rickshaw drivers should repair them. Recently, my wife who was ill was refused on the grounds that people were waiting in the queue. However, the same driver, jumped the queue when another passenger asked him for Goregaon."

Sorry saheb: An errant driver pleads with the cops.
Pic /Sayed Sameer Abedi
Pragati Sharma, an employee at a private firm, MIDC, said, "The buses are always crowded. So my colleagues and I opt for share-rickshaws from the station. With the rickshaw stand barely operational, the drivers refuse to ply by meter."

Auto drivers speak:
Lal Bahadur Saroj, who was booked for taking passengers out of the queue, said, "I was not aware of the rickshaw stand in Ghatkopar, as my vehicle is from Vashi. Now I will have to run around to get my licence back."
Sardar Shaikh, who was fined for a similar offence, said, "The passenger was in a hurry and said that he would pay me extra, hence I agreed. However, a traffic cop caught me."
Masudin Ansani, who was booked for parking in a no parking area, said, "Since the passenger lacked change, I stopped near a shop to get the money. The traffic police have now fined me Rs 100 for it."
Ashok Karab, who was caught for plying without a badge, said, "I left my house in hurry and forgot my badge. I had to pay a fine of Rs 300."

Never again: A rickshaw driver got the message loud and clear after he
was penalised for refusing to ply. PIC /Pradeep Dhivar

Spot of bother:
Kishore Anand, who was on his way to Saki Naka, had to seek cop's help to get an auto. However, Anand was in for a rude shock as the rogue driver asked him alight midway. "Do whatever you want to, but I will not go to Saki Naka. I have to go elsewhere," is what the errant driver told Anand. "It is totally unacceptable if the driver leave us in the lurch. Luckily, I was asked to get off nearby, so I came back."
Text: Maleeva Rebello

Place: Outside Family Court, Bandra (E)
Time: 9 am - 11 am
Offenders caught: 13
Commuters speak:
Ashish Jain said, "Getting a rickshaw is easy from selective places, but only during daytime. None of them agree to ply during evening hours, when we are rushing home."
Savita Sharma said, "Despite the recent Rs 50 paise hike in the fair, the rickshaw drivers continue to harass passengers and extort more money."

Auto drivers Speak:
Ramvilas Verma: "I am ready to ply, but only if you pay me extra as I don't get return fare."

Mohammed Shaikh: "I generally don't ply from this area, and hence don't know the way."

Spot of bother:
'I got some urgent work and have to head home', 'My meter's not working properly', 'I'm running out of gas', were few of the excuses given by the auto drivers for justifying their refusal to ply.
Text: Dazy Verma

Place: Andheri Station (E)
Time: 9 am - 11 am
Offenders caught: 25
Commuters speak:
Neelambari Jadhav, who works in a diamond assortment company, said, "I am tired of waiting every morning for a rickshaw, to ply me to my destination. Auto drivers are least interested in plying to nearby locations such as Pumphouse or Bisleri Junction, as it fetches them less sum."

Pushkar Dehadray said, "Every morning we have to wait for nearly 30 minutes for rickshaws and after that, argue with them. They come up with number of excuses to refusing passengers."

Auto drivers speak:
Rajkumar Sharma: "I wanted to go to the toilet urgently and hence I refused to ply."

Ismail Ansari: "I want to go to Andheri West, but the passenger wanted to go somewhere in the East, so I refused."

Sunil Harijan: "I have a headache and am going back to my residence in Bhandup."

Spot of bother:
Auto driver Rajkumar Sharma near the railway station, when he refused to ply a couple of passengers. However, when the traffic cops apprehended him, he told that he had to rush to the washroom and was on the lookout for one. The cops then showed Sharma the nearest one and on his return, fined him Rs 100 and confiscated his licence. Moreover, 10 drivers to fled the spot after noticing that the traffic cops were approaching them.
Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

Place: Nehru Nagar, Kurla
Time: 10.15 am - 11.45 am
Offenders caught: 5
Commuters speak:
Prasad Karvate, who was refused by three drivers a fare till Vikhroli, said, "None of them were ready to ply. I might be drunk, but I have money to pay the fare."

Anita Parit, who was refused for a short distance fare till Kamgar Nagar, said, "It's an everyday affair, wherein the rickshaw drivers refuse to ply short distances, but are more than glad to ply long ones."

Sulochana Shinde said, "Whenever we approach rickshaw drivers asking them to ply us till Chunabhatti, they refuse us by saying that there's a heavy jam near Suman Nagar."

Auto drivers speak:
Suresh Khandekar: "Like any individual, we too start our day hoping to hat earn good money and feed our family. The trip to Vikhroli would have fetched a good sum, but the passenger was drunk and  chances of him not paying the amount after reaching his destination were high."

Mohammed Salim Mohammed Hanif, who decided to ferry a senior citizen instead of a youngster to Kamgar Nagar, said, "Due to heavy traffic jams, I avoid plying to longer distances. An elderly lady, and a young girl, wanted to go to the same area. So I gave preference to the elderly lady." 

Text: Faisal G Tandel

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