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Policing errant auto-rickshaw drivers in Mumbai
Navi Mumbai's deputy RTO, Bharat Kalaskar introduced a new scheme to take action against errant auto rickshaw drivers. Earlier, they wouldn't take a commuter to a short distance, but after this scheme's introduction, the situation has improved
IT’S A challenging job nowadays in Mumbai to get an auto-rickshaw to go to a desired destination. If you need to go to a short distance, their drivers rudely refuse to go. If you are lucky to have them drive you to your destination, these wayside robbers will short charge you. Frustrated and you always think of where to complain about these unfair practices of auto drivers.

Deputy road transport officer at Navi Mumbai road transport office, Bharat Kalaskar, knows how exactly you feel. So, in order to help the public and bring these errant auto-rickshaw drivers to book, he has painted his phone numbers in bold letters on his official vehicle, thereby, asking people to call him directly for any complaints against them. Kalaskar’s jurisdiction covers Navi Mumbai, Airoli, Vashi, Koparkhane, Nerul and CBD Belapur.

On asking him how he hit upon such a unique plan he replied, “Previously, people had to give a written complaint and it took us seven days to see the complaint. By then, it was too late to take action against them, but this new plan gives immediate relief to the public. I have also made a mobile squad to reach the complainants within a span of 20 minutes.”

Kalaskar’s scheme has brought about instant and very good results. Neetu Sanghvi, a harried business executive is highly obliged to him for printing his number on his car. Earlier, she said, “No auto-rickshaw driver would take her to her destination as it was quite a short distance from the station. Now, everyone obliges because they fear we may lodge a complaint against them. It’s no big deal walking a short distance to my house. However, after spending hours in office and on train, it becomes a daunting task to walk home. So, I take an auto-rickshaw to reach home.”

The traffic police have till date seized 120 auto-rickshaws. Forty-four drivers have been booked for driving without a proper permit, while 20 for illegally fitting LPG kits in their vehicles and 30 for refusing to go to the destinations desired by the passengers.

Kalaskar concluded, “Due to this initiative taken by us and the public’s alertness and cooperation, majority of the problems relating to auto-rickshaw drivers have been solved.”

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