Gurgaon traffic police, an SMS away

Gurgaon traffic police, an SMS away

Autorickshaw woes

Gurgaon traffic police, an SMS away

In a bid to lessen commuter woes, Gurgaon police introduced AutoVerify, a service that lets you send an SMS to 00860622032 (non toll free) to verify your auto-drivers registration number and figure out his credibility.

Speaking to Assistant Commissioner of Police, Vishnu Dayal, Metrolife confirms this service’s initiation, as he says, “We started this service two days back where commuters can send an sms entailing the registration number of their auto-rickshaws. Our transport database contains information on approximately 18000 autorickshaw drivers in the city. If your autorickshaw is a fake, you would figure out in about 30 seconds after sending this message.”

Dayal adds that their zonal officers check the registrations of these drivers, when found guilty, an autorickshaw driver will be impounded. While police projects it as a system to address security concerns, public questions its feasibility.

Gagan Sandhu is a marketing executive in a logistics firm based in Gurgaon. Travelling everyday from Laxmi Nagar in Delhi to MG Road metro station, she gets off to hail an auto to her office in Udyog Vihar. “Every day when I take an auto here, I have to tell the auto driver to get rid of his accompanying relative on board. There always somebody who gets on the auto after I hail it. That is a security concern for sure. But there are so many traffic police officers at the roundabouts.

Nobody seems to be taking a notice of that,” says Gagan mocking at the new system. “So, they want us to inform them about a security concern, while they ignore it in broad daylight. How are we supposed to wait and check the credibility of every auto rickshaw we take.” Gagan raises a relevant question as she further mentions, “during a rush-hour, especially when I go back to home, you cannot just find an auto. On that, there are no meters in Gurgaon-based autos, so your troubles multiply. In that situation, you cannot be asking me to check the credibility of an autodriver every time, while I am already exhausted.”

Vishal Sinha, a Gurgaon-based IT professional raises similar concerns says, “When I travel around in an auto at night, specially with my wife I hate the idea of seeing anybody accompanying the driver in his seat. If an untoward incident ever happens, it’s more likely that I would call up a police station instead of sending them an SMS. One can only use autoverify as a precautionary measure for a regular autodriver, it’s not feasible to check everyone on that basis.” Sinha adds that his hopes are all ties to the penetration of Gurgaon metro network around the city so that he could comfortably travel around with his family even at night.

In the face of dissent, to encourage commuters for using this service, ACP Dayal says, “We can assure that if we find that a registration number is fake, we would trace your autorickshaw and signal off our patrolling policemen on all roundabouts. It is the first step towards regularising this system for citizen’s safety and people must use it instead of denouncing it.”