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'Think about our Diwali, saheb'

On Day 9, errant auto drivers continued with their adamant ways and refused to ply; when caught they pleaded, argued and even threatened the cops

Place: Ghatkopar Station (W)
Time: 9:30am-11:30am and 5pm-7pm
Offenders caught: 16

Commuters Speak: Jayesh Prasad said, "Rickshaw drivers have so many demands and do so much of drama, that I prefer travelling in a crowded bus, rather than arguing with them."


An errant auto driver arguing with a traffic constable

Apsara Doshi said, "Though rickshaw drivers tend to threaten women, senior citizens and children, they are the only choice during emergencies and hence we are forced to put up with their arrogant behaviour."
Auto Drivers Speak:
Manoj Shivnath: "Since my vehicle needed oiling, I preferred travelling to Saki Naka over Bhatwadi, as there are several oil shops located in the area. And by doing so, I did two things at one go: make money and purchased oil as well."
Chandra Prabhu: "At least during Diwali time, auto drivers should be given some concession. We hardly make any money. These fines only damage us more. Even we need to save for Diwali."
Spot of Bother: Jai Bahadur Pal, who was fined on Thursday by traffic constable Bhosle for refusing to ply, showed up to collect his ticket. Pal said, "I realised my mistake  and henceforth, I will not refuse anyone." 
Bhosle said, "Refusal to ply is a big offence and rickshaw drivers always argue and threaten to beat us, so that they can be let off easily." Basant Gandhi, a local shopkeeper, said, "By booking these arrogant rickshaw drivers, traffic cops are doing a tremendous job."
Text: Maleeva Rebello

Place: Andheri Station
Time: 10 am-12 pm
Offenders caught: 4
Commuters Speak:
Praveen Parmar said, "Rickshaw drivers are very adamant and only ply to destinations they choose. There have been times when I had to walk for 50 minutes to reach MIDC, as no rickshaw was ready to ply."
Spot of Bother: Alert commuter Ravikant Tayade, approached the traffic police, complaining against rickshaw driver Ramesh Yadav, for his refusal to ply.
Acting on Tayade's complaint, traffic constable S D Bhingale, seized Yadav's licence. In his defence, Yadav argued that he had never refused the passenger.
"I only told him that I would take the rickshaw to the side of the road, and then he could get in." Eventually it emerged that it was indeed Yadav's fault.
Commenting on the prompt action initiated by the Traffic Constable, Tayade said, "More commuters must come forward and approach the traffic cops against errant rickshaw drivers, who refuse to ply passengers."
Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

Place: Near Kalanagar Bridge, Bandra East
Time: 9am-10am
Offenders Caught: 4
Commuters Speak:

Rakesh Mehra said, "There should be an SMS system wherein any passenger facing refusal from auto drivers can immediately report."


This driver offered an array of excuses and pleaded with the
cops to let him off with a warning


Aashima Sharma said, "I have to pick up my kids from school, but none of the drivers are ready to ply. These drivers have become extremely arrogant. There should be special police squads deployed at every junction to keep a tab on such drivers."
Auto Drivers Speak:
Mahesh Das: "Since the brakes were not functioning properly, I didn't want to risk the passenger's life. Hence I had kept the meter half-down."
Mohammed Sheikh: "I was feeling hungry and was desperate to eat something and in that desperation, I forgot to put the meter half-down."
Text: Dazy Verma

Place: Tembli Bridge, Kurla
Time: 10am-12pm and 5pm-7pm
Offenders Caught: 4
Commuter Speak:
Venu Gopal said, "When I first told the driver that I wanted to go to Swastik Chambers he agreed. But when I told him that I would be coming back in the same rickshaw, he refused. All I wanted to do was collect a few documents and submit them at the rationing office."


Traffic constables fined an auto driver who refused a
passenger as he wanted a return fare


Auto Driver Speak: Iqbal Shaikh: "Plying passengers to Kurla is not a problem, but I won't get a return fare. Also, there is a stand where the autos have to queue up. It will take at least 30 minutes before I get a fare if I stand in the queue."
Text: Faisal G Tandel

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