From today, I will have to pay more for an autorickshaw and taxi ride on my daily commute to work. It is likely that auto and taxi drivers will overcharge commuters like me under the guise of the fare hike, as their meters (many are still tampered with inspite of multiple RTO drives) will not be reconfigured to reflect the new fares.
But, for me, the bigger concern is: if I am fleeced and I register an online complaint, will the authorities act against the errant driver?
The cynical question arises from previous experiences I have had with the online complaint registration system on the Mumbai Traffic Police website.
In the last six months, I have lodged four complaints against auto and taxi drivers, who have overcharged me for my Borivli to Bandra commute (one such instance was documented in the July 6 edition of Hindustan Times). Each time my online complaint has been acknowledged by a ‘The matter will be examined & necessary possible action will be taken’ message. I still don’t know what action has been taken, which is, if at all, the concerned authorities have bothered to take note of my complaint.
There is no mechanism through which a complainant can track the outcome of his/her complaint. The least the authorities can do is give a reference number for every complaint so that complainants like me can use it at a later date to check the status of the complaint.
Although I have not tried lodging a complaint on the toll free complaint number, people who have, tell me that the acknowledgement there is similar to the one on the website – just an assurance.
I am sure there are many other commuters like me who have lodged complaints online or over the phone and silently hope that the auto, taxi drivers, who fleeced them, have been dealt with by the authorities. Unfortunately, these fellow Mumbaiites don’t know either.