#EndMumbaiTaxiProblem: Errant cabbies don't fear police chief, refuse short rides from outside Commissioner's office (FPJ Campaign)

#EndMumbaiTaxiProblem: Errant cabbies don't fear police chief, refuse short rides from outside Commissioner's office (FPJ Campaign)

If taxi drivers refuse to ferry you now, simply click a photograph of the vehicle's number plate and mail it to fpjcampaign@gmail.com.

Kamal MishraUpdated: Sunday, January 22, 2023, 08:16 AM IST
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Picture for representation

As The Free Press Journal's campaign against taxis refusing short rides entered the fourth day, it came to fore that errant drivers even refuse fares outside the police commissioner's office located opposite Crawford Market. Obviously, they don't even fear the police chief.

'Go complain to whomsoever you want'

Just like any other irked commuter, when the reporter said to these drivers that he would complain against them to the RTO, they curtly replied, 'jisko complaint karna hain karo.. police aur RTO ko bol do.. koi fark nahi padta (you can complain to whomsoever you want; be it police or RTO, doesn't makes a difference).'

On Friday, the reporter tried to get a cab from Crawford Market. Out of 88 drivers, 67 simply refused to go to nearby locations like Sandhurst Road, JJ Hospital, Marine Drive, Bhuleshwar, and Masjid and CSMT railway stations.

“Taxi drivers blatantly refuse to ferry passengers, especially for short distances, leaving them in the lurch. Many of us must have faced refusals sometimes even in dire situations,” said Shweta Sharma from Borivali. She was trying to get a cab to Marine Lines railway station from Manish Market but couldn't get one. Stern action is needed against such errant drivers to end this menace, she asserted.

Daily ordeal for commuters

Chira Bazar resident Bharat Jain, 40, said that it's a daily ordeal. “Yesterday also, I had to wait 20 minutes to get a taxi for a nearly one-and-a-half km ride.” He shared the sour experience after wasting 15 minutes while trying to find a cab on Friday.

Similarly, Parag Shah, who was struggling to get a cab right outside the Mumbai Police Commissioner Office, said that taxis are given licenses with certain terms and conditions, which primarily includes serving passengers. “But lack of sufficient action by the authorities has encouraged several cab drivers to violate the rules in front of the police commissioner's office without any fear,” said the Bhuleshwar resident.

Another passenger Vilas Chavan, 55, from Ghatkopar said, “Taxi service is normally considered as public transportation albeit privately owned. So, a taxi-driver sitting with his unhired cab on a public road, doesn't exactly have the personal freedom to say no to fares. If he needs that freedom, I think he must stay home for that day.” After listening no from taxis for straight 15 minutes, an irked Chavan finally decided to walk up to CSMT from Crawford Market.

'Bought two cars after frequent refusals by Taxi drivers'

“Refusals by taxi drivers are the primary reason why I ended up buying two extra cars. Am sure other citizens also would have taken a similar decision. Looking at the (unruly) behaviour of taxi drivers, it's apparent why Mumbai's car population has exploded,” theorised Sandesh Bansal, 48, a Marine Lines resident.

“Even if we tell the cabbies that there is an emergency, they do not relent. They have become a law unto themselves,” Isha Chaudhary, a SoBo resident complained.” Several citizens spoken to by The FPJ said refusal to ply has risen to alarming levels.

If taxi drivers refuse to ferry you now, simply click a photograph of the vehicle's number plate and mail it to fpjcampaign@gmail.com. You can also call the helpline of Mumbai central regional transport office 9076201010. Or tweet the pic to us using the #EndMumbaiTaxiProblem

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