Sharad Rao, president of the Mumbai Automen's Union (MAU), often calls for strikes for hike in fares, but when it comes to disciplining drivers who overcharge commuters, he expresses his helplessness. "The rogues are in business because the RTO and traffic police connive with them," Rao tells HT.
An HT investigation has exposed the rampant practice of auto drivers overcharging customers using tampered meters and faulty tariff cards. What does your union have to say?
This is certainly sad and inexcusable. The RTO has fined them heavily. What will your union do?
The union does not have the power to initiate any action against them.
Your union holds the city to ransom by calling strikes when it comes to hiking fares, then why are you unable to help passengers?
These rogue autorickshaws are not members of our union. There are around 25-30,000 scrap autorickshaws indulging in illegalities, with the blessings of the RTO and in connivance with and the traffic police.
Where is the problem rampant?
Most complaints are from the Bandra (East), Chembur Cheetah Camp, Malwani junction, Deonar and Mankhurd railway stations, Dahisar check naka etc.
When will all autorickshaws be equipped with e-meters?
The mechanical meters are replaced with the e-meters at the time of the mandatory annual passing of the vehicle at the RTO. The new autorickshaws come fitted with e-meters.