Baba Kamble, president, Maharashtra Rickshaw Panchayat
We will take necessary action against erring drivers.
If the incidences of autorickshaw drivers fleecing passengers at the airport, railway station and bus stands are true, then we will inquire into it and call a meeting immediately to discuss the issue.
We have our prepaid autorickshaw booths at the airport and railway station and I would request the passengers to make their bookings here for a hassle-free journey. If the rickshaw driver is found to be indulging in any malpractice, we will take necessary action against him. Any type of harassment of passengers such as not plying by meter, denying to ply for short distances and overcharging is wrong and we will take note of any such complaints. After midnight, the passengers have to pay half return on whatever the metered charges are and the driver cannot charge you more than Rs2 to Rs4 per big bag. If passengers have any complaints, they can call our helpline number 020-65104689.
Milind Shende, citizen
The drivers operate as a local syndicate with their own rules
The pathetic autorickshaw service and rude drivers, who do not ply by meter is a common scene at the railway station and bus stands in the city. The authorities have turned a blind eye to these malpractices. If you alight at any of these public places, the first thing you see is that these drivers operate as a local syndicate of there own with their own rule books. Passengers who are new to the city, or who get down at odd hours or on a rainy day have to pay exorbitant fares. They are sure to be taken for a ride.
They refuse to ply to shorter destinations, never ply by meter, there fares vary from passenger to passenger and they are rude. I don’t say that all rickshaw drivers are bad, there a few good Samaritans too.
Arun Yeola, Regional Transport Officer
Prepaid autos can charge 20% extra for the luggage.
For prepaid autorickshaws, the tariff is 30% more compared to the tariff of the normal autorickshaws. Besides, prepaid autorickshaws have been permitted to charge 20% extra for the luggage.
Therefore, the fares look higher. We have received complaints from passengers about fleecing by autorickshaw drivers. We have already changed the tariff taking cognisance of the complaints.
Now, passengers have to pay on the basis of km. If any autorickshaw driver is found fleecing commuters, we will take action against him immediately. The prepaid booth is meant to ensure that the passengers do not have any hassles.
Harsha Shah, chairman, Railway Pravasi Manch
Puneites do not come forward to register a written complaint
The prepaid autorickshaw service from the railway station and airport was started long time ago to ferry passengers, who carry huge bags and are needed to pay Rs2 to Rs4 as an extra charge for it. However, many passengers refuse to use these prepaid booths as they are not willing to pay the extra fee. The passengers are ensured a safe journey if they use these rickshaws, which are registered. The drivers can be easily traced if there is any case of cheating or manhandling. The authorities and police should stop creating factions among the rickshaw drivers at these public places. These drivers stop others from entering their area of business. They do not ply by meter, have fixed fares for selected destinations and refuse to travel via short routes. In such cases, passengers are left helpless and pay whatever fares are demanded. Puneites do not come forward to register a written complaint with the concerned authorities. The apathy of the authorities is that they cannot take action unless they get a complaint.
Suresh Jain, general secretary, Students’ Welfare Association of Pune
Shared auto system should be allowed in the city
One of my colleagues traveled from Bangalore to Pune recently in a private bus which charged him Rs400 for the journey. He alighted at Chandni Chowk and took an autorickshaw to his house in Karvenagar, wherein the auto driver charged him Rs600. This shows how the drivers fleece passengers. The outstation and local student community are among the largest users of city autorickshaws and most of them complain that the city needs a good and reliable public transport system. The cities bigger than Pune have a shared rickshaw system. I don’t understand why the system is not allowed in Pune. The rickshaw fare is five times the bus fare for any distance and if these auto drivers don’t ply by meter and fleece passengers, it is worse for the citizens. Every citizen wishes that the city bus transport was as efficient as the BEST in Mumbai.
Sulabha Teranikar, senior citizen
For a woman, plying in an auto at night is an unsafe experience
My experience is that whether you travel by plane, train or bus, the whole journey is beautiful till Pune. Once we alight at the railway station, airport or at any of the state transport bus stands, it starts becoming a nightmare dealing with the city rickshaw drivers to reach our destinations. It is a sad experience and scary to deal with them. I don’t know how can these auto drivers fleece passengers with varying tariffs. What are the authorities doing? For anyone who alights at the railway station, airport or bus stands, a big question arises on how to reach their destination. Being a woman and getting down alone late in the night and taking a rickshaw is an unsafe experience. Besides the exorbitant rates, I also doubt how many drivers have a licence to ply autos. Most of the time, there is a lot of infighting going on among the drivers.