The effort of Panvel Sangharsh Samiti has brought results as the Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC), Regional Transport Office (RTO) and the Traffic police have jointly started putting put up banners across the city to register a complaint against auto-rickshaw drivers not plying on meters, refusing short distance commuters, or behaving rudely.
For the last decade, rickshaws in Panvel never plied on the meter and charged as per their whims and fancies.
Kantilal Kadu, president of Panvel Sangharsh Samiti, took the initiative against auto rickshaws and met officials from RTO, and Traffic. “I have been following the issue with RTO and Traffic for a long time. Initially, they assured and put up a couple of banners and left the issue as it was,” said Kadu. He added that he threatened to go on hunger strike and also approach the court if the concerned agencies failed to implement the basic rules of running auto-rickshaws on meters. “It is unfortunate that for the last decade, both RTO and Traffic police could not check rogue auto-rickshaw drivers in the city,” said Kadu.
According to locals, the auto-rickshaw drivers in Panvel, New Panvel, Khanda Colony, Kamothe, Kalamboli, Taloja Phase 1/2, Kharghar and railway stations always refused to ply on meters. They even used to pick up fights if passengers insisted on plying on the meter. “They have backing from political parties as they have more than 40,000 votes in the Panvel area,” said Kadu.
However, the strong follow-up of the Panvel Sangharsh Samiti has brought results and the administration issued numbers to register complaints against auto-rickshaw drivers. The numbers are 112 and 9004670146. The board bearing these numbers warned the auto-rickshaw drivers not to behave rudely with commuters, wear a uniform, not carry more than three passengers and run on meters.
Around 2,000 such boards have been put up by PMC to create awareness among commuters and warn rickshaw drivers. In addition, the RTO will carry out intensive random checks on erring auto-rickshaw drivers.
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