Auto drivers refuse to ply on bad roads | india | Hindustan Times
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Auto drivers refuse to ply on bad roads

As if Mumbaiites were not frustrated enough by the traffic snarls and backbreaking rides, owing to the pathetic condition of the city's roads, they now have one more reason for concern.

india Updated: Aug 03, 2011 00:43 IST
Shashank Rao

As if Mumbaiites were not frustrated enough by the traffic snarls and backbreaking rides, owing to the pathetic condition of the city's roads, they now have one more reason for concern.

Auto rickshaw drivers are citing the potholed-filled roads as an excuse to refuse passengers and commuters have flocked to the regional transport officers (RTOs) with complaints.

Sources in the RTO said that often, drivers say that the auto rickshaw is occupied, or is not in working condition, just to avoid having to take passengers on bad stretches.

They further said that complaints have gone up by 8-10% in the monsoon.

"These drivers simply refuse to take us through shorter routes, on ground that roads are bad and filled with potholes," said Chembur resident, Meghna Damania, who travels by auto rickshaw regularly.

The RTOs are taking note of these complaints and are asking auto rickshaw drivers to stop refusing to ply. But they say that beyond this, it is the BMC's job to repair the roads.

"We will restart our campaign against refusal by auto rickshaw drivers after the monsoon," said V Pandkar, RTO officer (Wadala).

Auto rickshaw drivers, however, say they have a genuine cause for concern. They claim that their expenditure on maintenance has gone up by 20%, due to the pothole-filled roads. They have also approached their union to address the problem.

"We will write a letter to the BMC and ask them to take cognisance of our complaints immediately. It is not only affecting the drivers, but also commuters," said Shashank Rao, member, Mumbai Auto Rickshaw Men's Union.