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Potholes can't be an excuse for cabbies

With Mumbai in the middle of a robust monsoon season, the problem of potholes on roads persists.

In a now familiar story of woes, motorists and pedestrians are once again forced to navigate through potholes, which have only been growing in number, size and depth. Many of these, without exaggeration are the size of a huge sink or swim craters.

They play havoc with cars and have also resulted in considerable injuries to people’s limbs and have caused excruciating backaches. Several roads are old and strained which finally give way under pressure.

Now, we hear that several autos and taxis are refusing to ply on pothole-ridden roads, citing concerns for their vehicles. While one does empathise with vehicle owners because of the large-scale damage done to cars, it is wrong on the part of many auto and taxi drivers to use potholes as an excuse.

First, they would refuse to ply for different reasons --either the roads were blocked with traffic, or another favourite, that their shift was changing. Some claimed there was not enoughfuel in the car. Commuters are also familiar with the sight ofcabbies opening the hoods of their cars and pretending that there is some problem.

Refusing passengers has become a big problem across Mumbai’s commuterscape, with several papers including this one running dedicated campaigns for commuters to haul up cabbies and autos refusing to ply. Maybe, cabs and autos should ply carefully and slowly over broken roads and negotiate these potholes. It is easier said than done, but it has to be a spirit of give and take between the passenger and drivers. 

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