Dial HAR for harassment, police tell commuters in distress

Traffic cops cite ways of letting them know about drivers who dont behave

Dial HAR for harassment, police tell commuters in distress

Delhi Traffic Police get thousands of complaints against autorickshaw drivers every year – and they maintain they take them seriously.

Traffic police cite several ways of  letting them know about autorickshaw drivers who don't behave. There is the general traffic police phone number  011-25844444, a dedicated autorickshaw helpline 9604-400-400, and an SMS option. Then, there are printed complaint cards.

Commuters can also just write out their complaint on a piece of paper giving details of the autorickshaw’s registration number, place, time and nature of the harassment. It is estimated that about 50,000 complaints are received every year.

According to Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic), the frequent complaints are about refusal to carry passengers, overcharging, misbehavior and harassment.
He insists that the department takes concerted action to enforce rules.

“We have been taking action on the complaints by spot prosecution and by ascertaining facts from commuters. Whenever a complaint is received on the helpline number, the nearest traffic post is informed and directed to attend the call as soon as possible,” Garg says.

Traffic police officials normally try to take note of the commuters’ problem on the spot.
But if neither the complainant, nor the autorickshaw is found at the spot, a notice is sent to the registered owner of the autorickshaw to make sure that the driver is warned.
Garg, however, says they do not contact the complainant to inform that their complaint has been dealt with.

“But if the complainant does contact the department again to know the status of their complaint, we do provide them with all the information and the action initiated,” he adds.
Another official says that traffic police also warn errant autorickshaw drivers that their license would be suspended if they continue with the attitude.

In order to increase the reach of the  commuters, traffic police also have an SMS-based complaint system. It allows people to lodge a complaint through SMS on phone number 56767.

Senior officials claim that it is an easy, and transparent procedure. For a complaint of refusal, commuters are required to send ‘REF’ followed by the  registration number of the autorickshaw, location and time. Similarly, for overcharging ‘OVC’ needs to be punched in, while ‘MIB’ is for misbehavior and ‘HAR’ for harassment.

At the end of the day, all the complaints received through SMS 56767 are downloaded through Internet and action is taken against defaulting drivers and registered owners of the autorickshaws.

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