Meter Jam campaign gathers momentum | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Meter Jam campaign gathers momentum

An online poster that you can take prints of to spread the word around the city, a link to find bus routes and a deluge of suggestions on how to beat the rain on August 12 — new additions on the Meter Jam website have heightened the steam around the campaign to boycott taxis and autos this Thursday.

mumbai Updated: Aug 10, 2010 01:38 IST
Aarefa Johari

An online poster that you can take prints of to spread the word around the city, a link to find bus routes and a deluge of suggestions on how to beat the rain on August 12 — new additions on the Meter Jam website have heightened the steam around the campaign to boycott taxis and autos this Thursday.

The boycott, initiated online by three advertising professionals last week, already has over 18,000 supporters on the official website, www.meterjam.com.

The organisers Abhilash Krishnan, Jaidev Rupani and Rachana Brar, as well as the 'jammers', are more seriously taking up the responsibility to ensure that the strike is a success.

"We approached officials of the BEST and got a good response from them, so now people can access their Bus Route Search tool from our website," said Krishnan (25), who works in a Goregaon-based digital ad agency along with Brar and Rupani.

The trio has also designed and uploaded a poster that jammers can put up in their housing societies, on the condition that they take required permissions from authorities.

Besides this, Meter Jam has initiated a Facebook discussion among fans on how they can tackle surprise rains on August 12 while resisting the impulse to hail the nearest auto or cab.

"We don’t want people to get caught unawares in a downpour — if they prepare well then the campaign will not be affected," said Krishnan, who feels that auto and taxi union leaders who have responded to the campaign are only talking about irrelevant issues. "They are not talking about how they want to solve the problem."

Meanwhile, non-profit organisation AGNI (Action for good Governance and Networking in India) has also joined the campaign, claiming to represent the concerns of all citizens.

"Under the Motor Vehicles Act/Rules, once the meter shows 'For Hire' no taxi or auto can refuse to take a citizen wherever he or she wants. But on an average, citizens are refused by at least 8-10 cabs before they finally get one," said Sharad Kumar, a trustee of AGNI. "The helpline started by the RTO has been very helpful, and a lot of drivers were fined last month." AGNI is now encouraging other NGOs to join in.