People resist from filing complaints against auto rickshaw drivers for demanding excess fares
Bengaluru: The commuters in the city continue to get troubled by auto rickshaw drivers as they keep demanding excess fares.
Rickshaw drivers charge unreasonable fares for small distances and abuse the passengers verbally or sometimes physically if they try to negotiate or refuse to pay the extra.
The commuters use rickshaws to travel to the places where buses and metro trains cannot reach. But they end up paying double fares most of the times.
“If we ask to go by the meter, some agree and some don’t. They take extra charge, if we don’t give extra charge, they aggressively ask for the extra charge and then we just have to succumb to it and give the extra charge to them,” says Vijay Laxmi, a resident of Bengaluru.
People who are outsiders in the city or not familiar with the place they have to go to, get fooled by these auto drivers. Anusuya, an undergrad student says, “The auto driver was charging extra for a small distance journey. If we ask auto drivers to go by the meter they are like, if you are interested come with us otherwise go on your way. We are not taking you.”
The auto drivers, who follow the meter fares and do not charge extra, face flak from the other auto rickshaw drivers.
Srinivas D, who has been driving auto rickshaws in the city for the last 15 years, shared his experience with other drivers, “Last week one passenger had to commute to a distance of two kilometres. All the auto drivers were charging him 100 rupees. I charged the passenger according to the meter, that’s why these other auto drivers tore my auto’s roof.”
In the last three years, total 35,335 cases have been booked against rickshaw drivers for demanding excess fare. Out of which, 525 cases have been booked till now in 2021.
People hesitate to complain against these drivers because they think, it is waste of time.
These auto rickshaw drivers have suffered a lot in Covid pandemic. They say that they have hardly received any financial help from the government. The price of basic commodities, fuel and rent has increased.
Professor M N Shreehari, a traffic advisor to the Central and State government, said that taking extra money is wrong and punishable and their vehicles could be seized if situation worsens.
A senior officer at Traffic Police Department has requested the commuters to come forward and file complaints against those auto rickshaw drivers who charge excess and trouble them. Because if they don’t file the complaints they won’t be able to take any action and drivers would continue to harass passengers.