It's time to act

Showing solidarity

It's time to act

They are probably the most controversial community in the City. These are the autorickshaw drivers, who have an uncanny knack of creating headlines and getting their way time and again.

In a span of few years, the minimum rates of autos have gone from Rs 9 to Rs 17. The drivers are still not satisfied as their demand for a minimum fare of Rs 20 has not been met. What do the poor common people do about this? Many of them have joined a community called Meter Jam that tells the commuters to boycott autos on August 12, that is today! 

Gathering momentum in different cities of India, Meter Jam is gaining immense popularity in Bangalore as well, with hundreds of people joining it every minute on networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. 

Sphoorti, a student of MSc Psychology, came across Meter Jam on Facebook. “Though I have a bike, I use autos whenever it’s raining. Even when the minimum fare used to be Rs 14, they would charge at least Rs 15 or 20. And now with the fares increasing, they would surely take 20 bucks and claim to not have change. Sometimes, they refuse to come, especially around areas like M G Road, Brigade Road and Commercial Street.”

Sphoorti is happy that Meter Jam has become popular. “I’d request everyone to spread the word.” But she feels it’s not just the fault of these drivers. “Even the people should make an effort to not give in to their demands.”

Agrees Devika Bhaskar, a graphic designer, “People should not pay them extra just because they can afford to. As a commuter, one should think of an overall picture. The auto drivers must be taking a few bucks extra from every commuter and raking in a lot of money.” She adds, “The auto system seems to be more of a bargaining system than a service. The attitude of the drivers is frustrating and it’s unfortunate that people don’t have a choice. You pay to get ill-treated.”

Responses on Facebook

*1) A single day of meter jam isn’t gonna do anything to these morons, have to think of something significant.

*2) It would be fun to just look at the auto fellows and when they slow down, ask them to move on.

*3) Passengers should hail a rick/taxi, get in, sit and then tell their destination. When you do this they can rarely refuse. No where in the world do passengers tell their destination and then get in. Why do we do this? We as Indians are very polite when it comes to rick/taxiwallas, they should at least return the favour.

*4) Just 2 more days to go for 15th August — Independence Day of our country, but before that, there will be August 12 — freedom from the arrogant rickshaw and taxiwallas. A fitting preview to our Independence Day. ‘JAMey raho!!’

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