If you are wondering why the traffic police is not answering your distress calls when autowallas refuse to ferry you, it’s because you have got the wrong number. For more than two years, all 380 rickshaw stands in the city have been sporting the traffic police control room’s old landline number.
If you were trying to get in touch with the traffic police on 020 26123520 to register a complaint, but couldn’t, it’s because the number is now defunct. The department is yet to put up the new number across the 380 authorised auto rickshaw stands in the city.
Board games: Display boards at auto stands still show the old number of the traffic police control room
Yesterday evening when Meena Jadhav tried to halt an auto on Apte Road, the rickshaw driver flatly refused. Irritated with his curt refusal, she decided to call the traffic police number given on a board at the stand to lodge a complaint. But after several tries, the number remained unreachable and she had to let it slide. This is the case with most passengers who are refused by auto drivers at stands. Their complaints do not reach the traffic police because the stands still have the old landline number of the traffic department’s control room, which is not functional anymore.
No response: Commuters are left to bicker with auto drivers, since boards at auto stands
In October 2011, with the help of the Pune Municipal Corporation and the Regional Transport Office (RTO), the traffic police installed boards at all the 380 authorised auto rickshaw stands, but forgot to put its new number, and instead printed the old number.
“Many times when the auto driver refuses to ferry us to a certain area, our immediate reaction is to call up the traffic police and complain, but the number given on the boards at the auto stands is not working. It is hard for senior citizens like us to go to a police station and complain instead of just calling from the spot. If the number is not operational, the traffic police ought to change it for the convenience of the passengers,” Jadhav said.
Another commuter, Jitendra Bhagwat, said, “When I tried to get an auto from Swargate to Mukund Nagar, the auto driver told me he would not go there, as he was not heading in that direction. It is ridiculous how frequently auto drivers refuse us, and no action is taken. When we try to contact the traffic police, we can’t get through to their phone line.”
The boards at the auto stands display the division under which RTO number for the zone, the landline numbers of the RTO and the traffic police department in the city. While the timings to call the RTO number (020-26051414) have been listed as 10 am to 5.30 pm, the traffic police number claims to be operational for 24 hours. It hasn’t, of course, worked for a second since the number was changed.
Can’t change them all, says deputy commissioner
When contacted, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vishwas Pandhare told MiD DAY, “I know such situations are taking place, but it is not easy to change the numbers throughout the rickshaw stands in the city. We have mentioned our new number on our website and if any passenger wants to register a complaint he/she can go to any traffic cop at the nearby chowks. We will definitely change the number as soon as possible, but passengers should also cooperate with us.”
The current Pune traffic police control room number: 020 – 26122000
Number for SMS complaint to RTO: 59994.
Complainant has to first type the auto rickshaw’s number, followed by the complaint