Mumbai: For the second day on Tuesday,
commuters in the western suburbs faced hardship after a small
group of rogue auto rickshaw drivers, irked over the RTO
campaign against faulty meters, violently coerced several auto
drivers to not ply.
Stone-pelting on autos plying despite the unofficial
strike was reported in suburban Malad and Kandivli.
The recognised auto union leaders say they do not back
the demands of the rogue elements and have asked authorities
to deal with them strictly.
Deputy Regional Transport Officer Bharat Kalaskar of
Andheri RTO, said the process of prosecuting the offenders
will go ahead. "They (rogue drivers) cannot pressurise us," he
Meanwhile, activists of India Against Corruption have
taken up the cause of harried auto commuters. Praful Vora,
Volunteer of IAC, said Mumbaikars have been cheated by auto
rickshaws running on the streets with faulty meters which do
not reflect the correct fare.
"The conversion charts are often fraudulent and show
higher rates. The meters reflect higher consumption and so
consequently higher rates. The rickshaws often do not have
running lights and are badly maintained yet they manage to get
permit to run on the streets causing excess vibration and
"The rickshaw drivers are often found refusing
customers. All this obviously points to corruption at various
stages," he said.
The IAC-Mumbai volunteers support the authorities who
are investigating the corruption of the RTO and the rickshaw
owners, he said.
"Citizens across the city are affected badly by this
uncalled for strike and corrupt practices of some of the
rickshaw owners and unions. The citizens will assert their
strength," he said.