'Sorry, no gas'

On day 55 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign, arrogant drivers kept on refusing short distance fares; some even asked proof for their refusals

Place: Borivli Station (E)
Time: 9.30 am-11.30 am
Offenders caught:  7
Commuters speak
Swati Panigrahi said, "This is for the first time that I have come to Mumbai. I had never imagined that finding an auto in a big city like this would be a Herculean task."
Mangilala Chaudhary said, "These auto drivers are no less than goons. I was on the lookout for an auto to Malad. A rickshaw driver stopped and asked whether I had luggage on me. The moment I said no, he sped away."

Who says I refused you?  An errant auto driver argues with a
passenger, who claimed that he was denied a short distance fare by the
driver.Pic/ Mahesh Chafe

Auto drivers speak
Arvind Kumar Goswami: "My rickshaw's clutch-plate is not functioning properly, hence I refused the fare."

Achedangiri: "I didn't refuse. The passenger never asked me for a fare."

Chotulal Yadav: "A lady passenger paid me Rs 3 less, stating that my meter was fast. Therefore, I think twice before saying yes to a passenger."

Gulabchand Yadav: "I'm 50 and have a poor eyesight. Hence I refuse to ply long distance fares."

Text: Priyanka Vora

Place: BARC Junction
Time: 10 am-12 pm 
Offenders caught: 1
Commuters speak
Nutan Poddar said, "I wanted to go to the PMG Colony. However, with the constant refusals that i was subjected to by the errant auto drivers, it took me over 30 minutes to find an auto."

Hand it over: A traffic constable asks a driver for his licence.
Pic/ Mahesh Chafe

Auto driver speaks
Dharmesh Kumar Prajapati: "How can I ferry a passenger if my vehicle is out of gas."
Text: Dimpi Thakkar

Place: Sion Junction
Time: 5 pm-6.30 pm
Offenders caught:  4
Commuters speak

Tushar Gawade said, "I had to go to Kalanagar, but the auto driver refused me saying that he had to finish some personal work."

Jahnavi Shigwan said, "Nobody seems to be interested in ferrying me to Kurla. So far, I've been refused a fare by nearly eight drivers."

Auto drivers speak

Jagannath Chowdhary: "My vehicle seems to have developed technical snags and hence I'm not taking the risk of plying passengers as it might spell disaster for all of us."

Kishore Shahu: "I haven't refused anyone. Why am I being arrested?"

Sher Khan: "Prove it that I've refused the fare."

Text: Vishakha Sonawane

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