Thousands of commuters were left stranded on Monday after traffic police continued to act tough on violators, especially autorikshaw drivers.
Auto drivers resent the drive that started on Thursday. Commuters say drivers are simply refusing to go for longer distances.
With more than a 1,500 autos impounded, drivers have either stopped plying vehicles or they are charging exorbitant prices for even short distances. The charges are 100% to 300% higher than normal rates.
“It took me 30 minutes to get an autorickshaw near MG Road Metro station, where the drivers are generally fighting to take a passenger. I was shocked when the driver told me to pay Rs 150 for four kilometres. The rates shot up from Rs 50 to Rs 150 over the weekend,” Kajal Singh, a commuter, said.
In a city that is short of public transport options, autorickshaws serve as the primary mode of last-mile connectivity.
“We are literally begging the drivers to go. The police are doing a good job but what about us passengers who have no other means to travel in Gurgaon?” Anuradha Malhotra, a commuter, said.
Commuters also said auto drivers are taking detours from the main roads to avoid traffic officials, hence increasing the travel time.
“The policemen are waiting to nab us on the main carriageways or on roads with high traffic volume. We have started taking our vehicles through localities that are not so busy to evade them,” Ram Kisan, an auto driver said.
The police, however, continued their drive on the fifth day in which 1,205 vehicles, including cars and autos, were fined and 115 were impounded. They said unruly and rash driving in the city has invited this clampdown.
“The drive is to teach defaulters a lesson and force them to abide by traffic rules. The drive took place on Monday as well. The owner of an impounded vehicle must come with the documents of the vehicle and take it back,” ACP Hawa Singh, an official spokesperson of Gurgaon police, said.