Tuesday, August 17, 2010

TEACH AUTO-DRIVERS A LESSON, CALL OR DROP COPS A CARD

TEACH AUTO-DRIVERS A LESSON, CALL OR DROP COPS A CARD
Police will no longer allow passengers to suffer auto-drivers who refuse to ply or tamper meters; to open 24X7 helplines and distribute self-addressed postcards
Hemanth.Kashyap @timesgroup.com


Traffic cops have decided to lend a sympathetic ear to the long-suffering citizens unhappy with auto-drivers who refuse to ply to destinations cited by passengers and tamper their meters.
They will take down every complaint by citizens, be it day or night, and act on them. To make this possible, they will start two 24-hour, seven days a week helplines to take complaints. If no operator is available, the call will be recorded in a voice mail. This will be in addition to the one number already operational (10 am to 6 pm). Plus, they will be distributing self-addressed post-cards. Citizens can write down their complaint and drop the card in any post box.
Both systems will be operational soon. The police promise to take action on the complaints/feedback they receive. The two complaints — refusing to ply and meter tampering — against auto-drivers are not new, but it is only now that police have decided to crack the whip.
Among other things, they took note of an online initiative by citizens to boycott autos in a bid to get the message across. Auto drivers shrugged it off as no big deal, but the traffic police are not taking it lightly.
Additional Police Commissioner Praveen Sood said, “We took the decision on the helplines and post cards after the public protested against auto-drivers. The cards will be made available in malls, theatres, bus and railway stations. Our Traffic management Centre already receives a minimum of 30 complaints every day against auto-drivers. The aim is to make it easier for citizens to lodge complaints and get a solution as soon as possible. Also, we will show the complaint copy when auto-drivers enquire about the complainant.”
PROBLEM? CALL COPS
Passengers can contact the Traffic Management Centre on 080-25588444 and 080-2558855. These numbers will be operational 24X7. The traffic police have also taken initiative to distribute one lakh self-addressed complaint cards. Complaints can also be posted on official of police www.bcp.gov.in and www.bangaloretrafficpolice.gov.i n. Passengers can file complaints about: » refusal to ply » excess fare » rude behaviour » giving lift to strangers
WHAT COPS WILL DO
They will take action at the earliest. Chronic offenders will be referred to the transport department for cancellation of permits. Already, they have asked for cancellation of 300 permits. A special drive is being undertaken to punish auto drivers running without Driver’s Information Display Card. Last year, police booked 45,000 cases against auto-drivers for various reasons, including troubling passengers.
CITIZENS SAY... “This is a lovely idea. Autowallahs think they have an upper hand as they have big unions. ‘Meter Jam’ was the first move towards breaking that feeling,” Abhai S Rao, assistant manager, Murudeshwar Ceramics. “Though this is a great idea on the part of the traffic police, I doubt how well it will be implemented. But it is a good move,” said Srinivas Shenoy, COO, Credo Infotech.

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