Not the right stand

unauthorised parking

Not the right stand

The road from Kasturi Nagar, through NGEF Layout, leading to Byappanahalli Metro Station swarms with autorickshaws, thanks to an unauthorised auto stand near the station.

Autorickshaw drivers park themselves just in time to corner people who return from work via the metro station and those who come from the Byappanahalli railway station. 

These auto drivers don’t turn on the meter, instead negotiate with the commuter and settle for an amount. The hapless commuter is blackmailed into paying through their nose. The Bangalore Traffic Police claim to have seized autos and slapped fines on them but the number of autos in this unauthorised stand seems to be growing by the day. 

Metrolife interacted with  autorickshaw commuters,  Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) authorities and the traffic police to understand why nothing is being done to initiate action against these drivers for charging more.  Autorickshaw drivers are allowed to park only in those spaces designated by the Bangalore Traffic Police. Talking specifically about autorickshaws parked at Byappanahalli Metro Station, B Dayananda, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), informs that the space for an autorickshaw stand is decided only after a study. A survey of the surroundings is carried out to understand the need for an auto stand, he says.

 “Those autorickshaws parked in illegal spaces and charging excess fares will be fined Rs 100 and their driving licences will be suspended in the first instance itself. Autos are not allowed to park in such a  way that it obstructs the smooth flow of traffic,” reasons Dayananda.  

The traffic police in the east division claim that they regularly conduct special drives around the Byappanahalli Metro Station to ensure that commuters are not harassed and also to prevent illegal parking. SA Pasha, Assistant Commissioner, Traffic (east division) says that the traffic police have been regularly conducting special drives around the metro stations just to ensure that there’s no illegal parking.    “We have booked about 40 or more autorickshaw drivers near the Byappanahalli Metro Station for overcharging  and have seized about four autos because they didn’t have the relevant documents. Sadly, the autos parked near the Byappanahalli Metro Station aren’t the regular ones, it is a floating population. We have to intensify our drives,” observes Pasha. The officials with the BMRCL don’t seem to be aware of the problem of illegal autorickshaw parking near the Byappanahalli Metro Station. Pradeep Singh Kharola, Managing Director, BMRCL says, “I am not aware of this parking. As long as the commuters don’t face a problem, the autorickshaws are free to park wherever they want and hire passengers. However, we will look into the matter.” But those who regularly travel by autorickshaws are not convinced with the explanations reeled out by the powers that be. They confess that they continued to be harassed by the auto drivers who charge an excess fare. Manoj K, a professional, says that he has been travelling by an auto to and from his workplace for the last few years.    “Many drivers ask for excess fares claiming that they have to return empty and most of them have tampered meters. They also demand excess fare for waiting at a signal. It is unreasonable,” says Manoj. Vijesh Nambiar, a security officer, feels the strength of autos in the City has increased, thanks to the easy availability of loans.    “Most of the auto drivers don’t have proper documents, tampered meters and violate every conceivable traffic rule. They also park wherever there’s space and park on pedestrian paths as well. It is high time they reform themselves,” he wraps up. 

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