Caught in the act again

Published: 21 October, 2011 08:41 IST | Team MiD DAY |

Errant driver seen refusing fare on Wednesday in Aundh fails to mend ways, is found repeating offence in Budhwar Peth next day; sensing police presence, some auto men turn good boys

Errant driver seen refusing fare on Wednesday in Aundh fails to mend ways, is found repeating offence in Budhwar Peth next day; sensing police presence, some auto men turn good boys

On Day 4 of the auto campaign, most of the drivers caught refusing passengers said that they had to fill up fuel and had to rush home for lunch. A few of them, aware of the police's presence, agreed to go anywhere the commuters wanted them to go. As many as eight drivers were booked yesterday for either refusing to ply passengers or for overcharging and refusing to go by meter.

Location: Shania Chowk, Bajiro Road, Sadashiv Peth
Time: 12 pm to 2 pm
Offenders caught: 5

Old habits die hard:
Sarjerao Tanksale (in white Gandhi cap) is
booked by the traffic police after he was caught refusing passengers
once again at Budhwar Peth. Earlier, he was also booked in Aundh for
the same reason. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

For driver Sarjerao Taksale of vehicle no MH-12AR-6509 it was a case of old habits die hard, as he was found flouting rules for the second time on two consecutive days by the  Faraskhana police in Budhwar Peth for refusing a passenger. His licence was confiscated. Just a day earlier, he had promised the MiD DAY team at Aundh that he would follow all rules and would refrain from troubling commuters. It happened that a passenger Sadhana Naik (45), her husband Shirish (50) and son Rohan (28) travelled in Taksale's auto from the PMC building to Shrinath Chowk, but Taksale left them two stops before the destination.

Taksale was also found talking on his mobile while ferrying passengers. At the Shanipar Chowk, the drivers were found refusing blatantly passengers as they refused to go to Vijay Theatre or Raviwar Peth. When rounded up, the drivers argued that they had to pick up children from a nearby school and were running out of time.

Location: SGS Mall and West End Cinema, Dr Ambedkar Road, Cantonment
Time: 5 pm to 7pm
Offenders caught: 3

Don't say never: Traffic police check papers of an auto driver at Shanipar
Chowk on Bajirao Road. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

In the name of god, yes: Prashant Agarkar says passengers are like
God for him

At Cantonment the drivers were booked for the same offences as they refused to ply towards Sachapir Street in Camp from the West End Cinema bus stop but were willing to ply a longer distance to Poolgate, Hadapsar, Ruby Hall and Bund Garden area. Student harassed 25-year-old Yash Sharma, a student of acting in FTII, was forced to pay an extra Rs 20 near SGS Mall on Ambedkar Road. It was only when he pointed out the case to MiD DAY, the police booked the auto driver for overcharging. Sighting trouble most of the drivers in the area started cooperating with the commuters and the MiD DAY team.

Silver lining
There were some well-mannered drivers who agreed to ply commuters wherever they wanted. Ramchandra Javalkar (42) (MHQ 8288), Prashant Agarkar (35) (MH-12/PQ1222) and Sanjay Rakhpasare (32) (MWR K-3454) were the ones whose names were recorded in the good books. Javalkar also assisted 83-year-old Anant Shankar Karve and drove him to his home on Prabhat Road. "The two passengers in the auto did not object to it," he said. Agarkar said he was a religious man. "Passengers are like God for me and I never say no to anyone," said Agarkar. Rakhpasare said, "I feel ashamed of our colleagues who are uncooperative with the commuters."

As PMPML bus services are worst, I opt for auto rickshaws. Most of the time I have a bad experience with them also. Either they refuse to go or ask more money. I really wonder where we are going. There is no control on the auto rickshaw driver. The rickshaw drivers should show a little decency towards commuters who are above 50 or 60 year old.
Satish Kamat (55)

It is easy to come to Laxmi Road but most difficult to go out as I always face many problems with the auto drivers. They are always in a hurry and not ready to stop and talk to the ladies. Now I come on my own two-wheeler and park it in a nearby lane. I wish somebody would teach the auto drivers how to behave properly with commuters.
Anjali Joshi (38)

It is strange to pay different tariffs to go the same distance. I have been travelling from Shanipar to FC Road by paying different fares for the last two years. I am sure that many auto drivers are tampering with their meters and charging differently. Some of them even ask more than what the meter shows. Why does the RTO not keep a proper track on errant auto drivers?
Pandurang Kale (65)

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