Delhiites and their ‘struggle’ with autorickshaw drivers is age old. The Delhi Traffic police regularly announces its helpline numbers where harried passengers can call and lodge complaints.
Recently, several passengers have started calling the helpline run by the traffic police to lodge complaints for refusal, misbehaviour or overcharging by the autorickshaw drivers.
However, despite such complaints and subsequent action by the traffic police, passengers continue to be harassed as the drivers care two hoots for action.
After you call the traffic helpline, the registration number of the auto (along with the reason) is sent to the police’s Notice Branch, which issues a notice.
The driver has to deposit fine amount within 30 days, failing which he has to go to a court. Last, if he fails to appear on the designated day, a warrant is issued against him. The entire procedure takes between 4-6 months.
Statistics show (see box) a very less number of notices are paid up, while majority of them remain pending.
It no secret that many auto rickshaw drivers pay a fixed amount daily to the owner/permit holder of the vehicle. The addressed furnished too is either false or changed at times.
“Wrong or changed address is just one of the reasons. There can be many reasons for non-compliance,” said a senior traffic
But another official points out, “Wrong address can be a problem otherwise too. It is a serious thing in terms of security threats. This way, you can never trace the real culprit. The Transport department has to be more vigilant while issuing permits.”
Transport officials admitted the drivers do not inform about the changed address.
“We have recently changed the permit conditions for auto rickshaws, wherein we are now going to call them for annual fitness tests. That time, we will ask for the address proof again,” Commissioner (Transport) RK Verma said.