In their latest initiative, Chandigarh police have launched a helpline for residents to report any harassment by auto-rickshaw or taxi drivers.
According to a police press release, if any auto or taxi driver either refuses to take a resident to a particular destination or overcharges, a complaint can be made at helpline number 1073.
A traffic police officer would reach the spot and take appropriate action in the matter.
Meanwhile, Chandigarh Auto Rickshaw Union president Harcharan Singh slammed the police for the decision.
Singh said, “Why would we refuse residents to ferry to any place. In Chandigarh, the auto drivers do not decline service to anyone. What can police do in this is beyond my comprehension?”
He alleged that, “In fact, the police have found another way to harass the auto drivers. They are already harassing auto drivers bearing Punjab registration number if they enter the city. Such auto drivers are booked by the police even if they show complete papers of the vehicle.”
Kamlakant, chairman, joint action committee of auto operators (Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula), said, “If a customer is drunk or appears to be a criminal, would the police and administration come to save us. Incidents of auto drivers being attacked by passengers are not uncommon in city,” Kamlakant said.
He added a meeting should be held between the UT administration and auto drivers directly than issuing statements in media. “If overcharging is there, then the police can act. But generally, the auto drivers go by meter reading,” Kamlakant said.