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'Traffic cops have plotted against us'

On day 36 of the MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign rouge drivers kept refusing passengers despite emergencies; some even cursed traffic constables for penalising them

Place: Borivli Station (E)
Time: 10 am-12 pm
Offenders caught: 10
Commuters speak

Jayantilal Jani said, "It takes me over 45 minutes every day to find a rickshaw that agrees to ply me to my residence. The rickshaw drivers here are more interested in plying passengers alighting from outstation trains, as they get to fix the fare beforehand and charge extra for the luggage."

Anantini Bhope who was left stranded at the station with her two kids, said, "I want to take my kids to National Park. Since it's close by, about 15 autos refused us a fare."

Nikita Suvarna said, "Very few autos agree to ply passengers to local destinations, as most of them flock behind those alighting from long-distance trains. The situation gets ugly during peak hours, as
the locals are left in the lurch by these arrogant drivers."


Stop it: An errant auto driver warns the photographer for clicking his
picture. Pic/ Rane Ashish


Auto drivers speak
After being caught for refusing to ply a passenger to Malad, Surendra Modi said, "The area where passenger wanted to go, is marred with nasty traffic jams. So I refused him."

Jaynarayan Rai: "I was hungry and wanted to eat something. Hence I refused the fare."

Spot of bother
The traffic cops caught rickshaw driver Chandrakant Jangam after he refused to ply Baburam Pitodia by meter. In his defence, Jangam said, "My meter is running slow and hence I decided to fix the fare money with the passengers beforehand."

Rubbishing Jangam's lame excuse, traffic constable Parag Mohite reminded him that refusing to ply via meter is a serious offence.

On being caught for refusing to ply a short distance fare, Rajkumar Sau said, "The vehicle has run out of gas." However, Sau's lie was busted when the on-duty traffic constables checked his gas meter and discovered that his tank was almost full. His licence was confiscated. However, just 15 minutes after the incident, he was once again seen snubbing short distance fares

Text: Nivedita Dargalkar

Place: BARC Junction
Time: 9 am-11 am and 5 pm-7 pm
Offenders caught: 4
Commuters Speak:
Shweta Satpal, who asked for fare to a hospital at BARC colony, said, "We wanted to collect the reports of the blood tests done in the morning. However, on asking, the driver to ply us to the hospital, he flatly refused."

Pushpa Krishnan said, "If the drivers don't want to ply the passengers, then whom are they waiting for?"


Nabbed: A traffic cops leads a driver who tried to flee the spot after
refusing to ply. PIC/Pradeep Dhivar


Auto drivers speak
Sanjay Gupta: "I refuse because it was a short distance fare. Moreover, it appears that traffic officials have plotted against us."

Babu Chavan: "I was waiting for a passenger whom I ply to Andheri daily, hence I refused the other passenger."

Sayed Sikandar: "BARC Colony is huge and I never ply a fare outside the colony. Most of the residents from the area travel to nearby destinations. Moreover, there are no traffic cops inside the colony."

Text:Faisal G Tandel

Place: Sion Junction
Time: 9.30 am- 11.30 am and 5 pm-7 pm
Offenders caught: 14
Commuters speak:
Suraj Chougule said, "I wanted to go to a private nursing home in Dharavi, but the auto driver refused to ferry me stating that he was on his way to Kurla."

Ramaling Chauhan said, "I wanted to go to Bandra. Despite standing at an authorised auto stand, the driver refused to ply me. And when police caught him for refusal, he started threatening me and was asking for my phone number."

Harish Krishnan said, "Refusals during morning peak hours have become a daily affair. I work at BKC and not a single driver is ready to ferry me."

Shrikant Godke said, "I am a paralytic patient. Even after looking at my condition, the auto driver refused me. I
wanted to go to Dharavi T-junction, which is close by. I am thankful to the police that they nabbed him. At least now he'll learn his lesson."

Amit Parsee said, "I want to go to BKC as my mother is admitted at a hospital in that area. I guess I'll have to tell the driver about my personal problems before he refuses to ply me."


Rules are rules: Traffic constables reprimand a rickshaw driver who
refused a short distance fare. PIC/Pradeep Dhivar


Auto driver speaks
Sanjay Nikam: "I refused the passenger because I normally ply only between Sion Junction and Kurla. This saves my time and gas too."

Biramal Hande started arguing with the cops who caught him for refusal. He said, "Even we are free to refuse. I was not running away. I was going to the other side as a passenger there was waving at me."

Pramod Gupta: "I didn't refuse the passenger. I was waiting for the signal to turn green. But the police nabbed me thinking that I had snubbed him."

Ravindra Gupta: "I swear by god, I don't know the route. Besides, I even told the lady that I would drive her if she's ready to guide me. But she walked away. I am not a foolish person to refuse a passenger in the presence of cops."

Text: Mukul Pawar

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