Me : Auto!!? 127?
Autowala (A1): Chalenge
Me : How much ?
A1 : 100 Rupees bhaisahab !
Me : 100 ? Are you kidding me ? Go by the meter, whatever it shows I'll give you that much.
A1(laughs) : Meter? This is UP (uttar pradesh) bhaiya, no meter ! 80 Rupees, not less than that
Me : Forget it, I'll look for another one!
A2 : 80 Rupees bhaiya
Me : What? I just let go one Auto coz i thought 80 was too high. How about 50?
A2 (rudely shakes his head and goes)
A3 : 80
Me : 60?
A2 : 70. Not less than that
Me : F**k it ! Fine.....Chalo !
AUTO RICKSHAWS or just AUTOS, in popular parlance, have been a common mode of transport in urban India since our independence. Autos are a great way of commuting when you don't want to take your car out during the rains, or if your destination includes narrow passages/half a lane roads en route, or if you are a college student getting late(as if, huh!) for college, or if you are a lazy, late going office guy like me. They are quick and easily accessible. Plus they are not really expensive for a common man. At least that was how they were supposed to be !!
- Night charge
- Rain charge
- Sharing ka extra (pooling charge)
- Petrol/CNG rates got higher. (20-30 rupees rise for Rs 1.5-2 in petrol prices and Rs 0.5-1 rise in CNG).
These are the terms Auto-drivers commonly throw at the commuters, bilking them to "pocket-zero" ! I used to think Delhi was bad at handling their Auto Unions(of course, there are Unions!), but Mayawati maintains her topnotch notoriety when it comes to leading the corruption charts.
No METERS in AUTOS !!
As soon as you get down at a metro station, a horde of Auto drivers awaits you. If the optimal charge is, say, Rs 40 for a particular destination, you can get two offers from the Auto-walas :
1. Go alone paying 100
2. Go with 3 other people making it 4 in an auto (oh and btw, there is space for just 3 at the back seat). So, one unlucky chap sits with the driver in the front seat ....and in case any bad bump or speed fluctuation happens....Bye Bye Birdie!!
Now, You are getting late and all the more helpless and exasperated.
It's not just the NCR, it's almost every metropolitan in India. In lieu of this Auto menace, Bangalore authorities took a step forward, a few months ago, to tackle the atrocities of the autos, by coming up with a Helpline number taking complains from commuters, and providing instant help, there and then. Last month, around 100 auto-drivers had their licences suspended and cases booked against. Delhi government and "Kumari Mayawati" should take careful note of such measures and try to implement the same here. Atleast, Autos with working and unbiased METERS would be a start !!!
But Alas! Money in UP is just for Maha-Maya flyovers and Mayawati's Dalit Parks with her statue in between. Come back to reality Maya!!
Or, Do you need a totem ?