Ill-equipped to meet the monsoon

Ill-equipped to meet the monsoon

Travelling Woes

Ill-equipped to meet the monsoon

With the monsoon making its presence felt and the first showers already having caused havoc in the City, commuters complain about ill-equipped autos.

A common problem that one notices is that the wipers are often broken or not there at all. This in turn leads to reduced levels of visibility.

To avoid the strong winds and lashing rain, the side sheets that are sometimes put by auto drivers are a welcome addition to the vehicle.

But if you can’t see the danger that is right in front of you, none of these ‘innovative’ rain-blocking methods can be of any real help. Rajib Roy, a professional, points out some of the problems he has faced in the past.

“Travelling in an auto during the monsoon in Bangalore is a pain. Most of the autos don’t have a rain cover and people sitting inside always get drenched. Often, the roof covers have holes and the water trickles through and even wipers don’t always work,” he says.

He adds, “The worst part is that the autorickshaw drivers charge almost double to go anywhere, even within the City. Travelling by an auto generally costs more than a taxi!”

For those who travel at night in these circumstances, the risk factor goes up considerably.

“Last year, when I was returning home from work,  I had to take an auto in the pouring rain. I noticed that the driver’s wiper kept getting stuck but he didn’t care and used the headlights of other cars to guide him. Just as I was dreading the outcome, he lost control and the auto ran into a footpath. I luckily got out with just a few scratches but it still shakes me up when I think how bad the accident could have been,” recalls Manish, a young engineer.

Being the student-friendly city that it is, one can also frequently spot students travelling by public transport to get around. And while the danger of not having wipers varies in intensity between say, a bus and an auto, students have noticed this threat.

“Something needs to be done about this problem because it would be convenient and safer for both the driver and passenger. It’s a safety concern that needs to be addressed immediately to prevent unnecessary accidents,” says Sucheta Pathalam, a student of Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering.

She adds that if it is raining, she doesn’t sit in autos without wipers. 

Auto drivers who have ensured that their vehicles are well equipped are ready to face the oncoming rains.

But those with vehicles without wipers justify the absence saying that it is manageable to steer the auto even without their help.

“We have been doing this for too long a time to find the need to install wipers because of one more year of oncoming monsoons. It really isn’t as difficult as it looks,” concludes Manik, an auto driver.

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