'We are being fined for passengers' mistakes'

On Day 8 of MiD DAY's Meter Down campaign errant auto drivers find faults with commuters; blame passengers for flouting the norms

Place: Nehru Nagar, Kurla
Time: 10am-12pm and 5pm-7pm
Offenders Caught: 3

Commuters Speak:
Om Shiv Prasad, a school student, who was with his classmates, said, "We approached the rickshaw driver for Kurla pipeline, but he refused to ply. Autorickshaws are a public mode of transport, and these days, the public is only refused."

Yasmin Shaikh, who wanted to go to Vidyavihar, said, "My mother has some difficulty in walking, so I had come ahead to find an auto." She was helped by the cops to get a rickshaw.

It wasn't me: An auto driver argues with a traffic constable after being
caught for refusing fare

Auto Drivers Speak:
Mohammed Arif: "The students didn't ask the first rickshaw in the stand, but directly approached me. Hence I had to refuse. It was their fault. However, it's us who have to suffer no matter what."

Ismail Shikargar: "I always follow rules. I was third in the queue and the passengers directly asked me to ply, so I advised them to take the first rickshaw."

Spot of bother:
Astonishingly, during the duration of the campaign, very few refusals were observed. An auto driver told us, "Bhai, ab hume pata hai ki campaign chalu hai, to koi rickshawwala refuse nai karega. The only refuse when we have a problem."

Text: Faisal Tandel, Pic: Atul Kamble

Place: Ghatkopar (W), M G Road junction
Time: 9:30am-11:30am and 5pm-7pm
Offenders caught: 13

Commuters speak:
Amena Shefi said, "Many rickshaw drivers refuse to go to Narayan Nagar. Waiting for a rickshaw is highly irritating. It's not that there is a dearth of vehicles, it's the refusals."

Savita Puri said, "Despite seeing a small child with me, these heartless rickshaw drivers refused me."

Mahesh Pednekar said, "With sweltering heat acting as an irritant, auto drivers' arrogance is making matters worse."

Oops! i did it again:  This auto driver can't believe his luck when the
traffic constable caught him for a repeat violation

Auto Drivers Speak:
Dilip Kumar: "Since the traffic was bad, I was looking out for a long distance fare so that I could make more money."
Krishnanad Tiwari: "Since there was no parking space available, I was forced to say refuse ."
Lalit Pal: "I prefer going to Marol, as I get a good sum. Diwali is approaching, and it is time for us to make some money so that even we can enjoy the festival."
Shahzad Khan: "Going to the airport was a better option, so I refused others."

Spot of bother:
Hawaldar Bhosle caught Faizal Khan, who had run away to avoid being fined for his earlier refusal, when the latter came back to the station to drop a passenger. Though Khan denied that he had refused a fare, and that the constable had apprehended him by mistake, Bhosle informed him that he had noted Khan's auto number, so that he could be caught later.

Text: Maleeva Rebello, Pic: Sameer Abedi

Location: Kalanagar, Bandra East
Time: 9am-11am
Offenders caught: 4

Commuters Speak:
Prakash Malviya said, "Though I'm not a local, I've been frequenting this area for the past 4-5 years. The attitude of rickshaw drivers has changed drastically. Earlier, it was our choice of destination, now it's theirs."
Vidya Mohan said, "For us, drivers' refusals have become a routine. We have to bear the brunt of their silly excuses. There should be a prepaid rickshaw service, just like the taxis."

Auto Drivers Speak:
Kishore Kumar said, "I did not refuse to ply. There was a speed breaker ahead, and by the time I stopped, the commuter boarded another rickshaw. Nowadays, we are fined for passengers' mistakes."
Kanhaiya Lal said, "I was on my way to complete some personal work, and hence kept the meter half down. I did not refuse the passenger. I just looked at him and the police caught me. Looking at commuters is also a crime these days."

Text: Dazy Verma

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