The Great Negotiation !!
I am someone who feels proud to say that I have been born and brought up in Delhi, and one of the primary reasons for this is the revolutionary change I have witnessed in my city. The chocked roads have been liberated by the flyovers, the pollution which nearly made my eyes burn has dropped considerably and I feel safe breathing fresh air, those rickety DTC & monstrous blue line busses no longer ply and we have today the lavish low floor busses running on our roads, the distances have shrunk today all thanks to metro.
One thing however, which remains unchanged even today, withstanding all positive changes is a question “Bhaiya Kitna Loge?” (How much will you charge?). The fleet of CNG autos which run on Delhi streets have been projected as one of the most economical & pocket friendly modes of transportation, ideal for city journey but it actually nothing more than a fleet of pick-pocket & thugs. Be it increased fares or temper proof meters or penalty there is nothing which deters them. THEY JUST WONT GO FAIR.
In fact there have been occasions when I have argued with them, waited for next auto to arrive hoping for him to use meter , abused them in frustration but nothing has worked. In the end you just end up waiting endlessly wasting your time-energy-effort and finally agreeing on a negotiated cost (which is always higher than meter cost).
And sometimes to add insult to injury, the moment you step in they will switch on their meters to make you see that you have paid a good 20-30 rupees over the cost.
Well perhaps I am being too harsh going by my experiences but as a relief Delhi do have prepaid auto booths where you pay as per meter fare and luggage cost. For the convenience of commuters all major bus terminals, railway stations have prepaid auto booths so anyone coming into Delhi need not worry about loosing their cool.
Also, with the rigorous awareness program being initiated by Delhi police to get things in order, I am extremely optimistic that very soon Delhi auto will be like Mumbai taxies. Stop the Auto, Hop In and let the fare meter do the taking & calculations.
But to pave way for this dramatic change we all will need to pitch in our effort and fearlessly report it to concerned authority. In case any of you face harassment from Auto drivers then please lodge a complaint with Delhi traffic police. A complaint can be lodged online at the following link :
Simply message below code to “56767”
REF : in case auto driver refuses to give services.
OVC : If you have been overcharged.
HAR : IN case auto drives harasses you.
Finally, if you have any suggestion as to how to contribute to changing this scenario or if you have a similar experience then you know that comment section is right below. Let’s share & grow!!