The share-an-auto scheme at Bandra (East) railway station has stopped operating less than a week after it was inaugurated.
Commuters complain that they have been facing problems right from the date of its launch, on September 16 when transport minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil inaugurated it.
On Thursday, there was ruckus outside the railway station, where auto-rickshaws queue up. Commuters said the drivers were refusing to take passengers to two specified routes - to New English School and GN Colony – saying the share-an-auto fare fixed by the transport department was insufficient.
“The drivers complain that they face a loss of Rs 3 to Rs 4 on both these routes. They said they would resume only if the transport department revises the fares,” said an official from the Auto Rickshaw Union who is in charge of the share-an-auto stand, requesting anonymity. “They are also unhappy that Bandra-Kurla Complex is not part of the share-a-rickshaw route.” The drivers earn Rs 18 under the share-an-auto scheme for one route as against Rs 22 from an individual commuter. There was congestion at the railway station on Thursday as commuter queues got longer and longer as autos refused to take people.
On September 21, officials from the Regional Transport Office (RTO) in Andheri visited the spot after complaints from commuters. However, the visit does not seem to have made a difference. “I will ask the RTO to restart the share-a-rickshaw stand again. The auto union should have thought about the fares when it was being discussed. The drivers should understand the plight of people haplessly waiting for auto-rickshaws,” Dilip Jadhav, transport commissioner, told HT.