Being duped by auto rickshaw drivers for people is nothing new in a city like Mumbai. Travelling with tampered metres, auto drivers not having the exact amount of change hence commuters being obliged to pay more is a regular phenomenon. One has to be tacky to deal with these street-smart rogues. Never believe them when they say that they don’t have the exact amount of change. It once happened with me that while I was returning home in an auto. I gave the driver a hundred rupee note and the driver told me that he doesn’t have two rupees. I didn’t let him go without getting the exact amount of change. I realized that he had the change with him.
Hence auto drivers should never be trusted. They are regularly going on strikes for no reason causing hassle to commuters. Very frequently there is increase in auto fares. Today there are fewer commuters plying in autos as they can feel the pinch in their pockets. Besides, if commuters want to ply a short distance which sums up to only the minimum fare the driver blatantly refuses to carry them to the destination although according to rules, they are not allowed to do so.
What’s more, if commuters have a spat with one rickshaw wala, there are others who will join them. And the commuter has nothing to do but to give in to the whims and fancies of the auto driver. Once while travelling to my hostel from LTT, we hired a rickshaw as we were carrying some luggage with us. After plying certain distance, the rickshaw driver switched off his electronic metre. Although we argued, it went in vain. Moreover, he refused to budge until we paid him some more money than the metre indicated. Feeling frustrated and burdened with the load of our luggage, we complied. Such is their menace.
Yesterday, it was late at night so I travelled in an auto rickshaw from Chembur to Borivali. We were travelling through the Highway. Just when we reached Borivali, the metre suddenly jumped and displayed a price hike of seventy rupees above the actual fare. When I protested, the driver said it was already twelve. When I said that twenty minutes were left to twelve, he shifted the blame on the RTO and said that it was not his fault. Anyway, when he left me to my destination, he took more amount than he was supposed to. This shows the cunningness and the arrogance of the rickshaw walas. One needs to be extra tacky while dealing with them.