Gurgaon: Commuters concerned over crimes in cabs
Residents are concerned over commuting in the late hours in the backdrop of the murder of an auto executive, whose body was found in Mahipalpur.gurgaon Updated: Dec 27, 2017 23:39 IST
In the absence of a cheap and sustainable public transport in Gurgaon, commuters are forced to hire cabs but this has become a risky option due to increasing incidents of robbery, murder and rape.
Residents are concerned over commuting in the late hours in the backdrop of the murder of an auto executive, whose body was found in Mahipalpur, and the rape of a woman working in a Gurgaon mall, which took place on Delhi-Haryana border.
There have been several instances in the past and the police have also claimed to have arrested people robbing passengers on the pretext of offering a lift. However, commuters, both men and women, continue to use unverified cabs due to lack of other options.
On December 23, a 19-year-old woman working in a Gurgaon mall hired a cab, following which she was allegedly abducted and gang-raped by two men in the cab at an isolated spot along the Delhi-Haryana border.
On December 15, a 27-year-old auto executive who hitched a ride in a cab from strangers near Gurgaon bus stand was found dead in the forested area of Mahipalpur in Delhi near the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway. The accused robbed the victim of his cash, mobile phone, and ATM cards before killing him with a muffler.
Interacting with a few commuters in the city, Hindustan Times tired to evaluate the reason as to why people hire cabs. A majority of commuters, which largely comprises employees, said with no strong public transport system in Gurgaon, they are forced to take a lift.
Opting for app-based aggregators Ola and Uber is costly in the peak hour and the availability is also less. Commuters also find metro rail crowded as long queues are seen outside metro stations in the evening hours.
“I usually take a lift till Huda Metro Station from Sector 15, where I work. It is difficult to get autos or cab at peak hour. There is always a rush to get a taxi first and also, there is limited cab service. This forces us to opt for sharing a cab with unknown people,” Sapna Giri, an IT executive, who was waiting for a taxi on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, said.
Another commuter, Parayani Singh, said, “Sharing a cab with others is cheap but it is also not safe to travel alone in a cab after dark. Ola and Uber are costly services in the evening rush hour.”
Women commuters said that they do not feel comfortable in sharing cabs and men said that they do not feel safe in sharing cabs with strangers.
The cab drivers, who are hired to pick and drop office staff from particular locations, often give a lift to passengers waiting on the roadside to make a quick buck.
Prabhjot Singh Rana, a daily commuter, said, “After office, no one really cares about who their co-passengers in the cab is; everyone rushes home. These cab drivers also are aware of this fact and thus they ask more than five commuters sometimes to adjust in a cab that has a capacity of three.”
Though commuters agree to the fact that it is risky to board a non-empty cab, they said that private cab service is the cheapest and most easily accessible mode of travel in Gurgaon.
Taking a cab from Gurgaon to Delhi costs between Rs60 to Rs80 every day, said commuters and pointed out that commuting in a metro is stressful as they do not find a place to sit during the peak hour.
“Taking a metro is costly as one has to take a cab till metro station, which will cost Rs40, the minimum far, and from there, metro will cost around Rs50 to take one to Delhi from Gurgaon. Thus, every day, one has to spend more than Rs200 for commuting,” Megha Roy, a daily commuter, said.
Commuters said that the government should launch more buses and metros that can solve commuting trouble in the city.
“We definitely need metro trains and the government needs to strengthen public transport system,” Agni Mehta, an MNC employee, said.
The Gurgaon police said that they have increased surveillance in sensitive areas after cases related to robberies in cabs has increased of late.
“We have directed all station house officers to regularly monitor cabs and check such incidents. Regular monitoring along the expressway will be increased,” Ravinder Kumar, PRO, Gurgaon police, said.