Monday, August 27, 2007
Lesson 3: Auto-drivers, resident evil?
It happens only in India
I will not sit in any auto that does not go by the meter. I will insist on going by the regulated fare system, even if it means waiting for five minutes for another auto. That’s my bit today. Yours?
(mail contributions to: email@example.com)
General Rule of Rain in Delhi: When it rains, autorickshaw drivers will hike fare prices and will generally haggle/harass more than on other days. Also, I will not haggle and if pissed off sufficiently, will either report the number to the police or note it down and report it to this blog. ;)
I don’t have a car and since whenever I get into a DTC bus, I get into a fight – just a general dislike for being felt up – I have to take autos, like many others in this city.
Now the New Delhi government has introduced the NEW meters in Delhi that start at Rs 10 for the first kilometer and ticks at Rs .45 every 1km. With the introduction of this new fare system, NO auto-driver and I mean NO autodriver has any business to EVEN suggest going without turning down the meter. YOU are supposed to call and inform about the ones who do.
(Calculating auto fare IF it’s the old meter and starts from Rs 8 = Note kilometers on meter and subtract one from it + left-over kilometers multiply by 4.5 = whatever the result, add a Rs 10 to it and pay. Eg. If distance is 10, your fare = 9 x 4.5 + 10 = 50. (erm, use your calculators, i made a mistake calculating even this bit! had written 55 earlier, heh heh)
Since the introduction of new meters (start at Rs 10), auto-drivers have no business charging anything other than what that meter says, no matter how long or short the distance. They even try, “It’s Sunday” madame to get more money out of you.
NOW, earlier the Delhi Traffic Police HAD a complaint number printed on most autos: It was mandatory to write down the complaint number at the back of the auto-drivers' seat and also behind or on the sides of the auto. The mandate being that the complaint number had to be conspicuously displayed.
Today, that number does NOT work. IF you DO call the Delhi Police on 100, the calls are not answered. The Police Control Room (PCR, 100) was called at 1.24pm yesterday (August 27); but there was NO RESPONSE. Delhi Police insists that they ALWAYS pick up calls or return calls. There is a caller-id facility that they have. So what’s happening Delhi Police… rakhi holidays perhaps?
Interestingly, once you DO call the PCR van and it arrives, the policemen will do their best to NOT register a complaint. PLEASE REMEMBER: If you EVER make a complaint to the police, no matter how mundane, have it written in their log books – every PCR van is SUPPOSED to carry a log book – and ASK them for a complaint number. Unless you are Sonia Gandhi or Shilpa Shetty, they will not remember your complaint; and since most policemen anyway suffer from voluntary amnesia; PLEASE take that complaint number. It works as your PAN number when dealing with the police.
Yes, auto-drivers are also trying to earn their livelihood; but since I TOO work hard for my money, I really don’t like parting with it more than I have to. Perhaps you can pay a Rs 100 for a distance where you should perhaps pay Rs 70… please DO NOT pay that extra Rs 30 out of sympathy or whatever. Not everyone can pay that extra money and it’s like letting a carnivore taste human blood…
Furthermore, since there is no Traffic Police number to call and Delhi Police DOES NOT respond to calls; KINDLY note down rogue auto-drivers’ numbers and mail me; or post as a comment on this blog. Once there are 50-odd numbers, I WILL approach the Police and ask for answers. Of course meanwhile, I shall be calling them if and when need arises. And once they do NOT respond to my call, say five times, I will take my call records and approach them. Oh yes.
If you can take pictures of autodrivers when they refuse to take you anywhere – they usually sit with their legs up looking nonchalant while refusing, makes for a fun pic – please use the camera on your mobile phones, take the pic of the driver and the auto with the number visible and mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Let us see HOW long does this official loot continue.
I don’t know the public transport complaint rules – read cab/ auto – rules in other cities. Those who know, would appreciate if you fill me in. Also, if people reading from other cities can give complaint numbers to reach the authorities; would be grateful.
Meanwhile, here are the autowallahs who refused to budge because it was a Sunday and wouldn’t go by meter. Two of them also said: “Dekhte hain tum kya karti ho.” (Let’s see what you do). Well, very soon.
DL 1R F 3256: this man is also a marijuana smoker and is so stoned and argumentative, you should not sit in his auto at all!
DL 1H R 1729
Dial-an-auto-service: However, not ALL auto drivers are the Devil’s minions. A whole lot of them are hard-working people working to meet ends meet… Even before they get money home, they have to pay something like Rs 250 as a daily rental for using an auto. An autorickshaw costs Rs 1-3 lakhs (additional 5000 to install a new meter); and not every autodriver can afford to take a loan for the same. So they drive rented autos according to pre-decided time slots. Some auto-drivers have started keeping cell phones and you can call them like a taxi-service. Am collecting numbers and will start publishing them here soon so that those in given localities may avail the service.
Meanwhile, some taxi numbers – tried and tested – good service, non-interfering and always provide a taxi.
Chhote Yadav, Vasant Kunj: 9868748342
Taxu Ranvir, Gurgaon/VK: 98116-18863
Delhi Traffic Police landline: 011-2337888
More to come…
PS: The Blank Noise Project and I love street dogs do NOT link to this site. However, both are trying to work in different fields that need help in India. Got pictures of street dogs that have been adopted? Please mail them to me...will pass them on to blog moderator on doggie-blog.