Auto Rickshaw drivers of Hyderabad were, are, and unchecked; continue to grow into more and more notorious and arrogant stature. At Railway Stations and Bus Stations it is virtually impossible to find an Auto Rickshaw that would take you to your destination by the Meter. They choose passengers who have to travel longer distances and demand hefty amount. They normally do not entertain passengers whose destination is close by as they cannot demand much. And in any case what they desire is to earn much higher than the actual fare. And if they find out that a customer is new to Hyderabad they may accept to go by the Meter and then take him around in circles and get an exorbitant fare. And coming to the Meters, most of them are tampered. If you are traveling to the same place to and fro a number of times you will find the fare varying each time and by a large amount sometimes, clearly indicating tampered Meters. Same is the situation with the Autos at other places in the city. As you waive for an Auto they do not care to stop. And finally when an Auto stops for you, he would ask you where you want to go and then without a word he would move away from you. We simply have to live with this rude behavior and when finally someone accepts to take you it would be at some extra amount over the Meter reading or a fancy price quoted by the driver and bargained by you.
Their driving is very rash when they are carrying passengers. And when there are no passengers they park their vehicles at wrong places like street corners blocking traffic or move on the roads very slowly in a zigzag fashion looking for prospective passengers, always causing problems for the traffic on the road.
During school hours you will find a number of Auto Rickshaws carrying children to School. You will find as many as 10 children in one Auto with their School bags dangerously hanging on the outside of the Auto Rickshaw. This is not at all comfortable or safe for the children. In this case the parents of the children are also to be blamed along with the Auto drivers who are breaking the law and the authorities who turn a blind eye to this offence.
The news in the above two pictures is from today’s ‘Hindu’ and ‘The Times of India’ newspapers. You may click on the pictures to enlarge the view and read the news. I am glad that both the newspapers have covered the news on Auto Rickshaw problems on the same day, indicating the seriousness of the situation. As of now very few people complain to the authorities on the extortion and faulty meters as they feel it is a waste of time. Most individuals do not even try to reason out and correct the Auto drivers as it would be of no use for individuals to reform these lawless, ill-mannered, arrogant goons. And the people of Hyderabad especially of Telangana can never unite to fight against injustices done to them. And if there are more such reports appearing in responsible newspapers, authorities may ask a commission like the Justice Sri Krishna Commission to inquire whether the complaints against Auto Rickshaw Drivers is true and submit a report within a year or two and suggest means to curb this menace. Till then we have to suffer and lead life as if nothing is wrong, hoping that someday a solution would be found to this helpless and lawless problem that can be experienced every few feet in the city.