Pune: There is good news for the residents of the PCMC area who claim to be suffering at the hands of the auto rickshaw drivers plying in the area. An initiative by the PCMC resident forum will now make it easier for people to lodge their complaints on a web portal (https://www.change.org) and expect immediate actions.
The complaints will be forwarded to the city Police Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (traffic) as well as to the Pune Regional Transport officer.
Speaking about the portal, founder member of the PCMC resident forum, Amol Deshpande said, “The main objective of starting this web portal is to provide a common platform to the citizens where they can file their complaints. After compiling them, they will be forwarded to the head of the concerned departments.”
According to Deshpande, the Pune RTO and the city traffic police department have failed to take the necessary actions due to which, the auto rickshaw drivers ply as per their wish, leaving passengers to suffer.
Prakash Sharma, 39, a businessman from Kharalwadi, Pimpri, said that there is not a single day when an auto rickshaw driver does not refuse to ply. “Even if he agrees to ply, I have to pay Rs20 to Rs30 extra apart from the actual fare,” he adds.
Aparna Manirkar, 44, a working professional and a resident of Akurdi said, “It is a nightmare to take auto rickshaws most of the time as they refuse for one way journeys. They demand fare for half return due to which I prefer using my two-wheeler.”
Taking about the issue, the Deputy Regional transport officer of PCMC, Ajit Shinde, said, “There are more than 4,000 auto rickshaws plying in PCMC area. On an average, we receive 10 complaints every month. Strict actions are being taken against the drivers though. Moreover, we are also carrying out surprise checks if the drivers are not plying as per the meters.”
Shinde plans to tag along with traffic police department and form a team which will hold meetings between citizens and the drivers. “This will help to narrow down the gap between the two. The issues related to refusal to ply and excess charging will also be resolved,” he said.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police (traffic), Vishwas Pandhare, said, “It is important that the residents come forward and talk about the problems that they are facing with the auto rickshaw drivers. Only then we will be able to curb the menace. Time and again we have been holding surprise checks and sending dummy customers to catch hold of errant auto rickshaw drivers.”