'Stay away, or we'll break your limbs'
On day 12 of the MiD DAY's Meter down campaign, rogue auto drivers cursed the media for instigating the traffic cops against them; even threatened the journalists covering the campaign
Place: Nirmal Lifestyle Mall, Mulund (West)
Offenders caught: 4
Commuters Speak: Neha Jain said, "It's Diwali, and rickshaw drivers appear to be in a co-operative mood. In fact, some of the drivers are approaching the travellers and asking them where they would like to go." Tarun Bhatia said, "Today is Lakshmi pujan, and still the rickshaw drivers are creating problems by refusing to ply. Today is a day when people worship and welcome wealth, but these people are refusing it."
Auto Driver Speaks: Abhendra Lal: "I admit that it was my mistake to refuse fares on an auspicious day like today. I am accepting the pauti, as I respect the rules."
Spot of Bother: When rickshaw driver Narendra Singh was caught by the traffic police for refusing to ply Deven Jha and his friends to Dreams Mall in Bhandup from Nirmal Lifestyle in Mulund, a group of 10 auto drivers gathered at the spot and started threatening the photographer who was covering the Meter Down campaign.
A traffic cop fining an auto driver after he refused to ply a passenger
The drivers claimed that the media is harassing them, and not allowing them to celebrate the festival in peace. They made a few calls, and threatened that they would break the limbs of people who were creating so many problems for them. They kept on cursing the hefty fines and the media for instigating the cops against them.
One of the drivers hissed out, "The entire country is corrupt, but these media people are just focusing on us."
Text: Maleeva Rebello
Place: Ghatkopar East
Offenders caught: 2
Yashwant Sonawane, who wanted to go to Chembur, said, "Some of the auto drivers refuse to ply long distances, while others have issues travelling shorter distances. In both the cases, it's the travellers who are inconvenienced."
An auto driver being snubbed by a traffic cop, after he tried
arguing with him
Auto Driver Speaks: Jitendra Sahane: "It is Diwali, and yet we are being treated badly. There was a technical problem in the rickshaw's engine and the mechanic had warned me not to ply on slopes. So I told the passenger that I would drop him a little before his destination, as there is a bridge there."
Text: Faisal G Tandel