'Save us from rogue autos'

NGO will submit a list of offenders caught during MiD DAY's Meter Down Campaign to CM Prithviraj Chavan; also contemplating on moving High Court

Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP), a non-profit making organisation that fights for the rights of consumers has now decided to take up the issue of refusals suffered by Mumbaikars at the hands of errant auto and taxi drivers, and approach Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for a permanent solution.

"We will submit a list to the government comprising the total number of offenders caught during MiD DAY's Meter Down Campaign (1,062) for refusing to ply passengers. The numbers will increase if several other locations are also covered," said Shirish Deshpande, chairperson, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat. Moreover, the non-profit making organisation is also contemplating on filing public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court.

According to transport experts, there is an urgent need for the government to inculcate etiquettes in auto and taxi drivers, and ensure that they don't misbehave and readily ferry passengers, irrespective of their destinations.

During the Meter Down Campaign, it was observed that several drivers lodged a complaint with their respective auto unions after they were booked for refusals. Some of the drivers even ganged up and threatened the journalists covering the campaign, on-duty traffic cops and passengers. According to sources in the RTO, drivers intimidated the passengers to dissuade them from filing complaints. Sources added that the scenario would be the same unless stringent norms are introduced to tackle refusals.

Number of drivers booked during the campaign

Areas covered during the Meter Down campaign in the suburbs

Drivers booked at Borivli (highest for Western suburbs)

Drivers booked at Ghatkopar (highest for Eastern suburbs)

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