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'Sorry, auto's not working'

On day 68 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign, while most of the drivers gave lame excuses to avoid short distance fares, one of them accused an on-duty cop of hiding his licence

Place: Borivli Station (W)
Time: 6 pm-7 pm
Offenders caught: 2
Commuters speak:
Rohan Salgaonkar said, "On an average, I hear 15 refusals before an auto is ready to ply me to my residence that is not that far away from the
station."

Savita Gada said, "Though I stay close by, my age doesn't allow me to walk. So I'm dependent on autos. However, despite noticing that I'm a senior citizen, none of the drivers are ready to ferry me."


Watch out! An errant auto driver threatens the photographer covering
the campaign. The driver was booked for refusal. pic/Datta Kumbhar


Auto driver speaks
Gaurishankar Chaurasiya: "The passenger did not pronounce the name of the destination properly, so I got confused. In order to avoid dropping him to a wrong destination, I refused him."

Spot of bother
When auto driver Rajendra Saw was nabbed for refusing a short distance fare, he handed over a pouch to the traffic constable who had apprehended him, stating that it contained his licence.

However, when the constable opened the pouch, he realised that it was empty and immediately brought this to Saw's notice.

But instead of searching for his licence in his auto, Saw accused the constable of hiding it. Sensing Saw's intentions, the constable ordered him to put an end to his drama or else his vehicle would be confiscated and permit revoked.

Stupefied by the cop's warning, Saw quietly produced the licence that he had kept hidden in the auto. Saw was later booked for refusal.

Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

Place: Sion Junction
Time: 10 am-12 pm
Offenders caught: 5
Commuters speak

Babar Shaikh said, "I had to urgently go to Kohinoor Mall to get an air-conditioner repaired. It took me over 30 minutes to find an auto. During this period, seven rickshaw drivers snubbed and ignored me."

Jethabhai Jairam said, "I have to go to Bandra Terminus immediately to catch a train to Surat. But none of the auto drivers are ready to take me there."


Yes, it was you: A commuter testifies against a driver who refused to
ferry him. pic/Datta Kumbhar


Auto drivers speak
Pundev Sav: "I couldn't spot the passenger, as he was on the other side of the road. Hence I went ahead."

Sachin Gupta: "My vehicle has developed a technical snag, hence I refused a fare to Bandra Terminus."

Panchdev Yadav: "I thought there was an auto stand around. That is why I refused to ferry passengers from the middle of the road."

Vishnu Tanpure: "The auto is running low on gas and I'm on my way to the gas station to refill."


Text: Vishakha Sonawane

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