This was written long back ,at present 1 Km is 9 rs/- and the minimum amount is now 17 rs/-
I still remember my first weekend in Bangalore I met my friend .He warned me to stay careful from the autowalas’.He said,”They would charge you like hell as their meters are tamperd and we being from north India failing to understand their language further worsens the situation “.
Similar statements were made by every other person i met.I was so badly scared by these people that I started to imagine auto drivers as yetanother version of Veerapan.
1)One weekned I hailed a rick from JP Nagar to Marathalli, i dont remember the exact amount that I paid.I got down from the auto and was very impressed that the driver had dropped me ,exactly where i wanted to.I happily told my friend that my first exp.with the auto driver was really good.But the second moment all my happiness faded away as my friend told him that I had paid 30 rs/- extra.On my way back he dropped me on his bike to check the total kms travelled.We took the same route as the auto guy and on reaching the said place it was 5 km less of wat displayed on rick’s meter. I turned silent and my friend smiled and said “Welcome to the land of tampered meters”.
2)Once while going to some palce 15 kms from my place the meter displayed 93 rs/- ,it was quite satisfying but all my satisfaction was drowned in Ulsoor lake (a lake in bangalore) when my return journey by the same route cost me around 128 rs/-.
3)Once I got into an auto .when i reached my destined place i refused to pay him the amount dispalyed on the meter was way too much,initally he too argued with me (both of us were cursing each other in hindi) but the moment i told him that i frequently travel on that route and it never costs me that much and made him believe that i know his meter is tampered.He suddenly forgot hindi and started cursing me in his native language.He refused to return my money and he sped away in his auto leaving me to stand there helpless.The only thing i could do was to stamp my feet and utter “damn these autowalas”.
4)On some similar occassion when i was arguing with some auto driver (yeah if nothing great happens to me in Bangalore,I would at least master the skill of arguing with people around me) i said in an angry tone just to scare him that i have made a note of his auto number and would complain it to the police.To this he gave me an astonishing reply “Why do you want to take trouble going to police station in a bus,come sit in my auto and i’ll take u there and help you lodge a complain against me”.I was speechless and clueless not knowing what to do next.
5)An intresting incident occured when I along with my two more friends were returning from Gaduda Mall.All the auto wala declined to come with us as they wanted us to pay them 20rs/- extra.(i guess they think that as we are stepping out of the mall we are immensely rich and its their right to charge more from us).One of my friends went and complained it to the the police man standing near by.He stopped one of the autos’ for us and said something in kannada to him after which he agreeded to take us in his auto.We happily got into it but as soon as we disappered from the policemen’s sight he stopped the auto and asked us to get down.He asked us to pay rs/- 12 that was minimum for 2 km where in we had just covered few meters.We refused to pay him and got the down from the auto but one of our friend couldnt get down as the driver held the the gate and threatend us that if we dont pay him he would take our friend and leave her in some isolated place.We were scared to death and immediatley paid him and rescued her.We then dialled 100 and made a complain against that driver also mentioning his auto no.(which we had noted down).The policemen on other side of the phone tried to convince us not to take such steps as it would land us into problems which included regular coming to police station.Besides no action would be taken and the auto driver would be set free after giving some warning.
If these law makers themselves dont help us then who else will help??
The meters of these autos say “TO HIRE”.Ideally they should not say ‘NO’ to any of the passengers as these autos are meant for public to commute.I really get annoyed when these people charge extra giving excuses like :
1.There is too much of traffic today (btw when is bangalore free of traffic)
2.Its raining (what has rains to do with charging more,when distance covered is same) 3.sometimes they give lame excuses like “after dropping you while returning I wont get any passenger”(what do they expect me to accompany them back to the same point where i hailed the auto)
4.”its weekend today so you have to pay extra”.
Worst of all even police people fail to help us.Hence our fight and struggle to handle these auto drivers remian the same and the question “What is police doing?” remains unanswered.