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'Today, I have not refused a single fare'

On day 14 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign; commuters were in for a surprise as the otherwise arrogant rickshaw drivers, keeping in mind the festive spirit, readily plied travellers to their respective destinations

Place: Nirmal Lifestyle Mall, Mulund (W)

Time: 9.30am-11.30am and 5pm to 7pm

Offenders caught: 1

Commuter speaks: Anjali Khanna said, "I am happy that for a change, today, the rickshaw drivers are behaving well and appear to be in a festive mood. Hopefully, this change isn't a temporary change."

Auto driver speaks:
Prakash Yadav: "With the festive season on, people are eager to be with their families. So I have not refused a single fare today."
 
Spot of bother:
It was observed that the auto drivers in Mulund were well behaved and cooperative. They were happily plying commuters to their respective destinations. Moreover, it even took traffic cops by surprise, as they were expecting more refusals.

Text: Maleeva Rebello

Place: Near Kalanagar Bridge, Bandra (East)

Time: 9am-1pm


Why did you refuse? Traffic constables reprimanding an errant
autorickshaw driver for refusing to ply. Pic/Sayed sameer Abedi


Offenders caught: 3

Commuters speak: Manish Lanjewal said, "Refusals by the rickshaw drivers is common everywhere, be it Bandra or Virar. Today, I'm travelling with my family to meet our relatives. What aggravates us more than their refusal, are the silly excuses that they offer."


'Lie'-Ability: Traffic Constable Sachin Kamble fining Appa Margude.
Pic /Bipin Kokate


Auto drivers speak:
"Since I didn't want to ply, I lied to the passenger," said Appa Margude, who was caught for lying that his vehicle had run out of gas.
 
Dheeraj Kumar: "Today being Bhai Dooj, I have to go to my sister's place. Hence I thought i'll earn some cash on my way, so that I can buy her a gift. Now that I'm being fined, I'm out of cash and can't buy her anything."

Text: Dazy Verma

Place: Ghatkopar (East)

Time: 10.30am-12.30pm, 5pm-7pm

Offenders Caught: 8


It was him: A commuter takes a traffic cop's help to teach a rogue auto
driver a lesson. Pic/Sated Sameer Abedi


Commuters Speak:
Darshana Patil, an accountant by profession, said, "Refusals are common in Ghatkopar East and West. Most of the time when I return from my second shift, no rickshaw driver is ready to ply me to the Ghatkopar bus depot. Since I travel alone, their refusals create a lot of problems for me."

Bhavin Pandya, who was travelling with his parents, said, "Every rickshaw driver has some or the other issue. They don't even respect senior citizens, and bluntly refuse if the destination is not convenient for them."

Auto drivers speak:
Pramod Roy: "I never refuse anyone. It was the passenger who asked the other one to wait, as he was getting out. My rickshaw is from Chembur. Why would I refuse a fare in the nearby area?"

Maruti Yadav: "I took a fare from Andheri to Ghatkopar, and have to return the rickshaw in Andheri. I was looking out for a fare back to Andheri, but the passenger who approached me wanted to go to the central side, so I refused."

Spot of bother:
At Ghatkopar (East), traffic cops had to step in and ask the errant auto drivers to pick up only those passengers, who were standing in the queue. This brought smiles to faces of lady commuters, who otherwise, find it difficult to get a rickshaw.

Text: Faisal G Tandel

Place: Andheri Station (East)

Time: 9.30am-11.30am, 5.30pm-7.30pm

Offenders caught: 19

Commuters speak:
Prema Shanbaug said, "I am a senior citizen and have difficulty in walking. However, the errant auto drivers don't even sympathise with people like me and bluntly refuse to ply even to nearby destinations."

Anant Yesne said, "Recently, the rickshaw drivers had called for a strike demanding a hike in the fare and they got one. However, they still refuse to ply. That's utter arrogance."

Auto drivers speak:
Pradeep Gupta: "I have very high temperature and therefore refused to ply." However, when constable Motiram More checked Gupta's health, it exposed his lie and his licence was confiscated.

Satar Ahmed: "Due to constant running, the tyres have become too hot." To verify Ahmed's claim, when a traffic constable checked the tyres, he found them in prefect shape.

Spot of bother:
Drivers Shafiq Khan and Santosh Upadhyaya were caught twice in a span of 10 days for refusing to ply passengers. While Om Prakash Singh, who in his bid to flee away, almost knocked down traffic cop Motiram More. However, he was caught later and his license was confiscated.

Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

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