Time to reflect for our three-wheeled kaali-peelis
Autorickshaws are a vital cog in the city's transportation wheel
To the relief of Mumbaikars, the city's rickshaw strike did not materialise on Tuesday, easing commuters' fears. The announcement though brings into focus the need to streamline this particular transport arm. Autorickshaws are a vital cog in the city's transportation wheel. They actually act as a lifeline across the suburbs doing feeder routes for shorter distances.
Authorities need to control illegal autos. If, as the legit union says that there are so many illegal autos, it is time to start cracking down on them. Weed them out of the system using an iron hand. The commuter does not recognise legal or illegal autos. When he wants transport, all he can do is hail one and ask the driver if he can take him to a certain destination.
While the autorickshaw union may have their own set of demands, one hopes their talks with the government are positive. It is also time to acknowledge that autos too do not always play fair. They do not go by meter and share-an-auto facilities charge at will on crowded routes. This is the most common complaint. When commuters dare to raise a voice they are threatened or are simply told to leave and find another auto, which is certainly not easy given that these autorickshaw drivers operate in groups.
While asking for fare hikes and justice for autos is all very well, it is also time the auto union holds a mirror up to itself and sees that there is quite a lot of rot within. From flatly refusing to ply at certain points as harried and desperate commuters struggle, to charging at will, this is a chronic problem that needs to be nipped in the bud.
The autos need passengers, as much as the passengers need them. Looking at these aspects of the transport facility will ensure a win-win situation between Mumbaikars and their little three-wheeled kaali-peelis.
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