Meter Down!

Find MiD DAY staff along with the officials in your locality.

This post is to promote the newspaper MiD DAY’s new initiative to tackle with the ongoing problem of rickshaws in Mumbai – METER DOWN. Excellent initiative, much needed, and MiD Day showing social responsibility is something I have started to expect as routine. Big applause.

The general idea is to bring attention to rickshaw drivers who refuse fares, overcharge or give other trouble to passengers when they should simply be accepting passengers regardless of distance or destination by law. Traffic police and MiD DAY journalists will be ready to take immediate action against these drivers.

Quoting from the article…

METER < space> Location < space> Autorickshaw Number < space> Complaint and SMS it to 57272

Autorickshaw drivers have struck work, refused to ply short distances, beaten up elderly commuters and blackmailed the government into accepting some of their outrageous demands even while refusing to accept electronic meters, which should have been the norm in the first place.

This city cannot take it any more. And this newspaper has decided to do something about it.

MiD DAY has partnered with Mumbai Traffic Police to launch METER DOWN , a campaign to rein in errant autorickshaw drivers, and help you reach your destination.

At different spots across the island city, MiD DAY reporters and photographers will accompany a traffic police officer and a traffic constable to monitor the behaviour of autorickshaw drivers and book them instantly if they are found violating the rules. Such drivers will be fined on the spot, and for repeat offences, their licences will be seized for a week, or even cancelled for a serious offence.

The police officials will also ensure that you get your ride to work or home.

Much impressed, I wanted to know more information in terms of what kind of continuity can the commuter expect in terms of reliability and Sachin Kalbag, the Executive Editor was happy to provide more details, which I am adding here.

On the METER DOWN campaign, a few clarifications are in order following @Vidyut’s good questions. They follow in the next few tweets 🙂
SachinKalbag
October 11, 2011
METER DOWN: Our reporters will stand at various locations across the city with police officials for 4 hours each in the morning and evening.
SachinKalbag
October 11, 2011
METER DOWN: This campaign will run for at least a month or a maximum of three months depending on the response. This is not a one-off story.
SachinKalbag
October 11, 2011
METER DOWN: We have limited staff resources so we can’t be everywhere. But we have tied up with Traffic Police for Helplines as well as SMS.
SachinKalbag
October 11, 2011
METER DOWN: If an autorickshaw refuses a fare, police constables will fine him or confiscate his license. If there is no cop, call helpline.
SachinKalbag
October 11, 2011
METER DOWN DISCLAIMER: The campaign is NOT A MAGIC BULLET. It is an attempt by @mid_day to help Mumbaikars. To show we are with you.
SachinKalbag
October 11, 2011
METER DOWN HELPLINE: 24937755 (Mumbai Traffic Police). Or SMS type METER<space>Location<space>Auto Number<space>Complaint. SMS it to 57272.
SachinKalbag
October 11, 2011

These clarifications are very useful, because they will help people trust the initiative more and make more effort to bring the rampant anarchy among the rickshaw drivers under some semblance of control.

So you know what to do if you are in Mumbai and run into trouble with a rickshaw. Find MiD DAY staff along with the officials in your locality.

If you can’t find them,  send an SMS like this:

METER < space> Location < space> Autorickshaw Number < space> Complaint and SMS it to 57272

Let us all join in on the initiative so that we can make it a raging success.

Also, spread the word.

Join the Intellectual Anarchy!

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About the Author

Vidyut
Vidyut is a blogger on issues of National interest. Staunch advocate of rights, learning and freedoms. @Vidyut

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