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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Tweet auto problems, be heard: Kharghar residents

mumbai Updated: Sep 28, 2019 00:53 IST
Padmj sinha
Padmj sinha

Tired of errant autorickshaw drivers and complaining repeatedly, commuters in Kharghar are taking to social media to complain against them.

Citizens have often complained of autorickshaw drivers, who refuse to ply by meter or ply on certain routes.

Therefore, commuters have decided to start a ‘tweet-a-thon’ where they will tweet their grievances by tagging the Twitter handle of traffic authorities and ask others to retweet their problems till officials take note of it.

“I have decided to start tweet-a-thon against errant autorickshaw drivers. Social media has larger visibility and we hope our problems will be addressed,” said, Rajat Donde, 30, software professional who is leading the campaign.

Donde faces problems every morning while trying to hire an autorickshaw from Kendriya Vihar, Sector 12 in Kharghar, to the railway station.

“None of the autorickshaw drivers agrees to ply according to the meter; they quote their own amount. Given the peak hour, we don’t have a choice but to agree to the exorbitant fare,” said Donde.

Donde has appealed to other commuters tweet their issues and re-tweet the grievances of others till the problems get a response from the officials.

Hemangini Patil, deputy regional traffic officer Panvel, said, “We do take action against errant drivers and have even suspended licenses of a few. We take a cue from social networking sites as well and have taken action against errant drivers.”

“We are in talks with autorickshaw unions regarding meters and are successful in getting metered rides from Kharghar station. Other areas are still to be covered,” said Patil.

Residents allege that autorickshaw drivers fleece them.

“We not only face fare refusal but drivers often ask for more fare. They don’t prefer to ply according to the meter. As we are in a hurry, we have no choice but to pay them what they want,” said Divya Kamat, 28, a Kharghar resident. Kamat travels extensively within the city for her work.

Divya too has decided to highlight the issue on social networking sites.

Kharghar residents have also complained that autorickshaw drivers do not let private cabs operate in the area.

“Autorickshaw drivers always get into verbal arguments with private cabs. They [autorickshaw drivers] charge extra but don’t want us to hire cabs,” said Rakesh Pal, 40, Kharghar resident.

Commuters of also complained that autorickshaw drivers at the D Mart at Kharghar charge ₹10 extra for baggage. “They have their own unsaid rule. I was surprised when an autorickshaw driver near the shopping complex asked for extra ₹10 to take us to the station. We then raised a complaint with the traffic officials after which he agreed on the meter rate,” said Alifa Roy, 40, Kharghar resident.

RTO officials are looking into the complaint of charging extra for baggage and have warned autorickshaw drivers with stringent action if the problem persists.

“From now, I will post every autorickshaw-related issue on Twitter,” said Avinash Patel, 30, Kharghar resident.

“Heavy rain and the problem with trains give autorickshaw drivers a chance to exploit us. They refuse to ply on certain routes, charge extra and above all, have no fear of officials. We commuters are helpless,” said Pushkar Gupta, 33, Kharghar resident.

First Published: Sep 28, 2019 00:53 IST

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