The average Mumbaikar has enough problems to deal with every day. But in the last couple of months, another nuisance was added to the list -- rude and unruly autorickshaw drivers who think they are a law unto themselves.

Autorickshaw drivers have struck work, refused to ply short distances, beaten up elderly commuters and blackmailed the government into accepting some of their outrageous demands even while refusing to accept electronic meters, which should have been the norm in the first place.

This city cannot take it any more. And this newspaper has decided to do something about it.

MiD DAY has partnered with Mumbai Traffic Police to launch METER DOWN, a campaign to rein in errant autorickshaw drivers, and help you reach your destination.

At different spots across the island city, MiD DAY reporters and photographers will accompany a traffic police officer and a traffic constable to monitor the behaviour of autorickshaw drivers and book them instantly if they are found violating the rules. Such drivers will be fined on the spot, and for repeat offences, their licences will be seized for a week, or even cancelled for a serious offence. The police officials will also ensure that you get your ride to work or home.

If you do not find MiD DAY staff along with the officials in your locality, you can call the METER DOWN helpline - 24937755 - to register your complaint. You could also SMS your complaint. Simply type METER <space> Location <space> Autorickshaw Number <space> Complaint and SMS it to 57272.

Admittedly, things are not going to change in a day. But MiD DAY promises to be with you in this campaign for a long time. This is only a small, but significant step towards making your commute stress-free.

Sachin Kalbag
Executive Editor