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Send an SMS, lodge your complaint

Here's a piece of news that is surely going to be well received by Navi Mumbaikars. All those commuters who have been subjected to rudeness at the hands of errant auto drivers in the region can now register their complaints with the Navi Mumbai RTO via SMSes. The initiative is a part of the campaign started by the local wing of India Against Corruption (IAC).

Besides using the Siti Bajao portal to facilitate commuters in the satellite city to lodge complaints against errant drivers, the IAC members would be visiting RTO officials to ensure that complaints don't go unheard.

For commuters
Ravi Srivastava, coordinator, Navi Mumbai IAC, said "We have started a campaign against errant rickshaw drivers who either refuse short distance fares or behave rudely with commuters. Seeking help from Siti Bajao campaigners, we will be using their server for lodging complaints against auto drivers. We would be visiting all the crowded places in the city like railway stations, bus stops, etc and ask commuters to lodge complaints against arrogant drivers via the SMS service. Once a complaint is lodged, we'll keep a track of it and ensure that the RTO resolves the issue. Moreover, we will be visiting the RTO regularly to ensure that action is taken against arrogant drivers."

'We'll move HC'
For the past few years, locals in association with regional NGOs have been demanding implementation of CNG-based auto fares in Navi Mumbai. However, alleged political interests have delayed the implementation. At present, auto fare in Navi Mumbai is Rs 15 for the first 1.6 km, which is calculated by considering petrol prices.
"We have met Navi Mumbai RTO officials, demanding implementation of CNG-based tariff at its earliest. We have learnt that political interests have delayed the implementation of CNG-based fare in Navi Mumbai. We will start a campaign against the RTO if it doesn't implement CNG fare soon. Also, we are likely to file a PIL in the Bombay High Court against the Transport department for the massive difference between fares in the adjacent cities (Mumbai and Navi Mumbai)," said Srivastava.

Awaiting approval
Commenting on the implementation of CNG-based tariff in Navi Mumbai, deputy RTO in Vashi claimed that the fare is most likely to be introduced within next two weeks. Sandesh Chavan, assistant regional transport officer, said, "We have already submitted a proposal to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA) for the implementation of CNG-based auto fare in Navi Mumbai. The tariff is likely to be enforced once MMRTA approves its."

'We'll agitate'
However, the proposal has met with a fierce opposition from the local auto unions, stating that CNG rates will rob them of their profits. Sunil Borde, president, Rickshaw Chalak Malak Ekta Union, said, "In Mumbai, auto drivers earn good profits as they have a huge area to ply within.

"However, in Navi Mumbai, the area is much smaller. Besides, maintenance and repairing charges are much more in Navi Mumbai as compared to Mumbai, so are the prices of spare parts. In addition, there are very few CNG gas stations here, and this will make us travel extra three to fourĀ  km to refuel the tank. Unfortunately, the MMRTA is not considering these issues. We will agitate if CNG-based auto fare is implemented in Navi Mumbai."

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