Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Errant Auto Drivers Got Good Lessons

Delhi Traffic Police has claimed to have ‘‘punished’’ over 3,000 erring auto drivers who are still ‘‘taking passengers for a ride’’. Unable to check the ever-increasing complaints of misbehavior, refusal and overcharging against the auto drivers, the police have now deployed plainclothes cops across its 40 circles as decoy customers to challan all auto drivers who bend the rulebook.

‘‘Till Thursday, we challaned over 3,000 vehicles and impounded 126 others. We are yet to get the final figures for Thursday,’’ said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner (traffic).

Garg told Times City that they have got 80 teams to man the city. ‘‘One group of personnel, consisting of women officers are taking up strategic positions and asking auto drivers to go to destinations close by. If they refuse or overcharge, we will challan them. The other team is waiting at the ISBTs and railway stations. They are randomly asking passengers to tell them whether they have come by meter. If the answer is no, we are instantly challaning the drivers,’’ said Garg.

‘‘The misconduct by auto drivers cannot be tolerated now. Errant drivers need to be booked as they now have no excuse after the substantial hike in the auto rickshaw fares,’’ added Garg. The Joint CP said that all confiscated vehicles’ permits will be cancelled for a period that might extend up to 30 days.

In the past two days, 92 vehicles were issued challans for refusal, 60 for overcharging and 88 for driving without a license. As per data available with the traffic cops, over one lakh autos have been prosecuted for various offences till June 15 this year. Of these, 5,435 vehicles were challenged for permit violation and 5,138 drivers were prosecuted for driving without license. Nearly 11,000 drivers were found without proper uniform and badges. Only 1,404 challans were made for refusal.