'Teach these autos a lesson'

On day 77 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign, commuters stated that they want RTO and traffic department to clamp down on errant auto drivers who are giving them a hard time by refusing to ply

Place: Borivli Station (East and West)
Time: 9.45 am-11.15 am and 6.15 pm-7.15 pm
Offenders caught: 8
Commuters speak
Jyotsana Pathak said, "If the auto drivers demand fare hike from time to time, then it's their duty to ensure that they do not discriminate between short distance and long distance fares. At present, the situation is such that while the rogue auto drivers always manage to get their demands fulfilled, commuters are left in the lurch and fend for themselves."

Please forgive me: An auto driver pleads with an on-duty traffic
constable to spare him for refusing to ply. Pics/Mahesh Chafe

Hemlata Thakur said, "On a daily basis, I waste nearly half an hour at the station road to find an auto that agrees to ply me, thus resulting in a late mark at my office. Unless the RTO and the traffic police initiate stringent measures against these errant drivers, they'll never fall in line."

Naresh Pandya said, "Drivers here are so arrogant that they lack courtesy towards women and elderly passengers who wish to travel short distances. Making more money in the shortest possible time seems to be their only motive, which is why they only prefer long distance fares."

Manish Gangar said, "So far, I've been refused by at least five auto drivers. Just because mine is a short distance fare, they choose to ignore me."

Auto drivers speak
Omprakash Mishra: "I work in shift. And it's time for me to end my day and hand over the vehicle to its owner, so that the other driver can commence his shift. Hence I refused the fare."

Manoj Rajbhar: "The engine has developed some kind of technical snag. It keeps going off on its own."

Rajesh Verma: "Since my rickshaw is from Malad, I did not know the destination that the passenger was asking me to ferry him."

Just Hand over your licence! A traffic cop intercepts an errant auto
driver who went on a spree of denying short distance passengers near
the station at Borivli

Spot of bother
Auto driver Jeet Yadav who refused a short distance fare, justified his act by stating, "The brakes have malfunctioned and I don't intend to risk mine or the passenger's life. Hence I refused the fare."

However, his lie was busted after an on-duty traffic cop tested the brakes and found them to be in perfect working condition.

Kishore Rajput, who was caught for driving without a badge, said, "I had to go to the nearby garage to get my vehicle fixed. Hence I'm not wearing my badge."

However, when a traffic constable asked Rajput to elaborate on the technical glitch that his auto had developed, he had no answers.

After he was nabbed for speeding away from a passenger, auto driver Parasnath Singh in his defence, said, "The previous passenger was still clearing his fare, when the other passenger approached me."

To this, the traffic constable who had apprehended him, replied, "If you were still interacting with the previous passenger, you should have asked the other one to wait or shouldn't have spoken to him. You spoke to him and later refused him, this holds you guilty for refusal."

Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

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