On day 69 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign, rogue autorickshaw drivers kept on snubbing short distance fares and justified their refusals by giving lame excuses
Place: Borivli Station (East)
Time: 11am-12.30 pm
Offenders caught: 6
Caught in the act: Traffic constables book an errant driver for refusing
to ply a short distance fare. Pic/Rane Ashish
Ramesh Mali said, "Just because my destination was close by, around 10 auto drivers snubbed me."
Kalpana Salunkhe said, "These arrogant auto drivers lack respect for elderly passengers. The moment the drivers realise that it's a short distance fare, they refuse to ply the passenger. They are only bothered about making money."
Jyoti Shelke said, "Refusals by errant rickshaw drivers to ply short distances is fast becoming a major commuting woe for those living in suburbs. It's high time that auto drivers mend their ways or else commuters will take matter into their own hands."
Auto drivers speak
Ashok Pandit: "I had run out of change. Hence I refused the fare."
Kashiprasad Mishra: "I never refused to ply the passenger. I only asked him to meet me at my side of the road so that I don't have to take a U-turn."
Rules are rules: Traffic constables penalise an autorickshaw driver for
breaking the queue at an auto stand. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Spot of bother
Auto driver Vijay Gupta created a ruckus after he was nabbed by on-duty traffic constables for refusing a short distance fare to Borivli National Park.
He claimed that the passenger wanted to travel to Powai, but had refused to ferry him stating that the vehicle was low on gas.
To verify Gupta's claims, when the traffic constables checked the gas meter, it emerged that the gas tank was only half empty. When they crosschecked the passenger to confirm his destination, it emerged that Gupta had cooked up the Powai story.
With his lies exposed, Gupta was booked for refusal by the traffic police.
Text: Nivedita Dargalkar
Place: Sion Junction
Time: 10.30 am-12.30 pm
Offenders caught: 5
Booked: An errant driver faces the music for refusing a passenger.
Taufiq R, who was in a hurry to reach Dharavi's T-junction, said, "It's an emergency and I've already wasted more than 10 minutes in finding an auto. Despite requesting the drivers, none of them agreed to ply me."
Mohammad Taj, who had to board a train for Rajasthan from Bandra Terminus said, "I've been waiting here for over 30 minutes. However, all the drivers appear to be disinterested in going to the terminus."
Nethaji G said, "Waiting for a minimum 45 minutes to find an auto has become a routine."
Dheeraj Jain said, "Refusals have become a daily affair. Surprisingly, these errant drivers are not even afraid of the cops. And despite being fined on several occasions, refuse to change their arrogant attitude."
Auto drivers speak
Ramlakhan Mahato, who refused a fare to T-junction, said, "I had to go to somewhere else, hence I refused him."
Bihari Pal: "I was in a hurry to answer nature's call. Are you going to fine me for it?"
Isner Ansari: "Prove it that I refused the passenger"
Imtiaz Sheikh: "I'm feeling unwell. Hence, I refused the fare."
Aadam Sayyed: "I have a fixed fare waiting for me. He's a patient and I have to pick him up from Mumbra. Since I was already late, I refused to entertain the passenger."
Text: Vishakha Sonawane and Vaishali Chandra