Though the odd-even scheme of the Delhi government seemed to be a hit on Friday, several commuters were stuck arguing with auto-rickshaw drivers for overcharging and refusal.
“To ply from Saket to Kasturba Gandhi Marg one of the auto drivers asked me for Rs 200. It normally costs Rs 130 by the meter. Most of the drivers refused to charge by the meter,” said Monica Chettri, a resident of Saket.
According to Delhi Traffic Police, over 66 complaints were received by angry commuters.
“There are so many people travelling in autos, they know that they can increase the prices. Bargaining with auto drivers is always tiring, but today has been especially unbearable. Three auto drivers asked for Rs 50 from Kalkaji to Nehru Place. It takes Rs 30 normally. When I refused, he told me to ‘try and lower the price with another auto driver if you can’,” said Kunal Ahuja, a resident of Kalkaji D Block.
Many complained that the drivers took full advantage of the lack of options on the road by blatantly harassing desperate customers. However, many drivers did not shy away from admitting that these days would be used to make some earnings.
“I can promise to you this rule won’t last, and like everyone I have a family to feed. I will make use of it while I can. If I ask for Rs 70 instead of Rs 40, I don’t see how that is harming anyone. What happens to the initiative is not my concern. I have no faith in it,” said an auto driver, who did not want to be named.