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New cabs OK, but what about drivers’ attitude?

Shipra Pandey and Aditi Manohar have both had enough of the Delhi autorickshaws. Rajat Arora reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 25, 2012 23:36 IST
Rajat Arora
Rajat Arora
Hindustan Times

Shipra Pandey-homemaker:

The idea of swanky autos or cabs with GPS does not impress Shipra Pandey, a mother of a five-year-old.

She says you can change the design of autos or bring in new technologies, but you cannot change the attitude of autodrivers. “These drivers don’t even know how to talk to passengers. Overcharging is only one problem. They only run on the routes where they want to go,” says Pandey.

She says the autowallahs need counselling before they hit the road. The Vasant Kunj resident has to pay Rs 50 to an auto driver to go to market hardly 2km from her place.

“When you ask them to ply by meter, they say they don’t run autos on short routes. How can they say no to a passenger?” questions Pandey.

Despite a hike in the passenger fare, the auto drivers of the Capital continue to loot passengers.

“One cannot expect any amenities when it comes to these autos. The other day I had a heated argument with an auto driver when he refused to drop me till my gate and it was late in the night.

Auto drivers should be more sensitive. It is high time the did something to keep a check on these autowallahs,” Pandey added.

Haggling with autodrivers is part of her routine

Aditi Manohar-works in Australian high commission:

For Aditi Manohar, the words bumpy and autorickshaw are synonymous. To reach her work place in Chanakyapuri, every day she has to be pay Rs 50 over the actual charges. She says she hardly finds an auto driver who plies by meter.

And being overcharged is not the only problem. Finding an autorickshaw that can take her home to Defence Colony from Chanakyapuri is a big pain. “Most auto drivers say they don’t have gas or they have to go back home and can’t go to south Delhi. They simply refuse to go, especially during peak hours,” fumes Manohar.

Being overcharged and haggling with autodrivers has now become a part of her routine. Manohar often shells out Rs 120 for a 10km journey. There are times when an auto driver has also demanded Rs 150 from her.

“Nobody has any control on how much these autodrivers charge. At times if you are carrying a small bag, they’ll even ask for luggage charge. There should be some mechanism in place to keep a check on these drivers,” Manohar says.

First Published: Jan 25, 2012 23:31 IST