'Sorry, no luggage please'

On day 63 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign, rogue auto drivers continued their ritual of refusing short distance fares; even snubbed those carrying luggage

Place: Ghatkopar (E)
Place: Borivli Station (E)
Time: 10 am-11.30 am
Offenders caught: 4

Commuters speak
Mrunalini Shirodkar said, "Rickshaw drivers don't understand that the money they will earn by plying a long distance fare is almost equivalent to the amount they'll earn by ferrying multiple short distance passengers. It's high time these drivers get over their obsession with long distance fares or be ready to face public ire."

Rohan Mayekar said, "If auto unions fight for issues like fare hike and grievances faced by their drivers, then they must also sensitise the drivers towards the problems faced by commuters. On a daily basis, short distance passengers are being subjected to umpteen refusals."

It's not my fault: An auto driver tries explaining to the traffic cops that
he never refuses a short distance fare.


Auto drivers speak
Kishen Tahel: "The passenger had heavy luggage on him. Hence I refused the fare."
Koni Rajbhar: "I refused the passenger because I was in a hurry to refill the gas tank."

Spot of bother
When auto driver Vinod Singh's licence was confiscated for refusing a short distance fare, he created a ruckus. "I never refused to ply him. All I did was asked him to meet me at the road's end, as I didn't wish to create a traffic jam. However, the passenger thought I refused him and he went ahead."

To verify Singh's claim when the traffic constable checked with the passenger whom he had not refused, it became apparent that Singh had lied.

Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

Place: Mankhurd Station (East)
Time: 9.30 am-11.30 am
Offender caught:  1
Commuters speak

Anita Ghadge said, "I've been waiting for the past 20 minutes, but none of the drivers seem to be interested in ferrying me. The moment they see luggage besides me, they run away."

Pardon me: An auto driver requests the traffic constables to spare him
and not to penalise him. PIC/SAMEER MARKANDE

Auto driver speaks
Mahavir Kamble: "I wanted to refill the gas tank and therefore was searching for a fare en route to the gas station."

Text: Dimpi Thakkar

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