Auto drivers fleece flyers at Pune’s Lohegaon airport

Updated on Mar 29, 2022 08:21 PM IST

A spot visit on Tuesday found that drivers blatantly refuse to take customers who insist on meter fare

A passenger is seen requesting a ride from an auto driver outside Pune’s Lohegaon airport on Tuesday. (Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)
A passenger is seen requesting a ride from an auto driver outside Pune’s Lohegaon airport on Tuesday. (Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)
ByJigar Hindocha

PUNE Passengers at Pune airport are at the mercy of autorickshaw drivers who do not ply by meter and overcharge. A spot visit on Tuesday found that drivers blatantly refuse to take customers who insist on meter fare.

As per metre rates, a ride from Kumthekar road to Pune airport costs 170 while an autorickshaw driver from airport asks for 250- 300 for the former destination.

Earlier flyers used the prepaid auto service on airport premises which was closed down in August 2021 and rickshaws were moved outside the premises. Now, auto drivers charge more as they are not bound by prepaid rate cards.

Santosh Dhoke, Pune airport director, said, “Autorickshaws can drop passengers, but they cannot pick up flyers as per guidelines.”

Another senior official from Pune airport on request of anonymity said, “Flyers just have to walk a little more as it has been shifted to the other side of the road across the airport. One will not find an auto stand at international airports like Mumbai and Delhi. In Pune, it is still very near.”

On Wednesday, many lone flyers walked up to the auto service booth instead of booking private car service.

Prashant Shah who returned from Indore on Wednesday was asked to pay 450 for the auto ride to Kothrud whereas by metre he had paid 300 to reach the airport last Wednesday.

“Prepaid auto service was a good option, at least in places like Pune. Now the same driver is charging extra and nobody takes action against them,” said Shah.

Another flyer Renuka Kulkarni said, “Getting transport from Pune airport becomes difficult if you are landing at night as private cabs are not easily available and autos charge three times more than actual fare.”

Pune regional transport officer Ajit Shinde said, “Those passengers who are overcharged by autorickshaw drivers outside airport premises should complain to the Regional Transport Office with details of fare charged and vehicle registration number. Immediate action will be taken against the auto driver and complainant’s name will not be disclosed.”

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