It seemed a normal morning at work today when all of a sudden, I started getting a flurry of calls from my colleagues, informing me that they were delayed coming to work due to a strike called by the autorickshaw drivers. As is the norm nowadays, once again it is the common folk who are held to ransom.
This latest strike called by the auto unions was to lay down their demands, which are;
- Keep the price steady for “13 items” which they need for daily survival
- Implementation of the Social Security Act
- Hiking fares
- Cancelling implementation of electronic meters
The last two are particularly laughable. Most of these drivers anyway rarely charge by the meter, especially for long distances, and always like to “negotiate” the price in advance. Several tamper with the analog meters, whereas the electronic meters stop working if tampered with, leaving these guys a frustrated lot as they have to bear the replacement cost.
In Pune, an auto is a convenient mode of transport, but the drivers are something else altogether.
Their driving is rash, they jump traffic signals as and when they please, their language is often rude and foul, and the best part is, they expect you to cough up even small change as per the fare, but are amazingly lax when it comes to returning change, expecting you to “round-off”.
The other problem faced, especially by those staying towards the outskirts, is that these rascals simply refuse to ply, or after a lot of haggling, charge an exorbitant fare, leaving the harassed passenger with no option but to comply.
It is high time the authorities stepped in and took some really drastic action that will shake these buggers out of their complacency, also ensuring that there is no negative effect of the fallout on commuters.
Easier said than done, but I look forward to that day anyway !! 🙂