Mumbai campaign against taxis, autos flops

Mumbai, Aug 12 (IANS) A campaign to boycott autorickshaws and taxis to protest arbitrary fares charged by their drivers virtually failed Thursday because many commuters said they were dependent on them.

Although Mumbaikars had lent their full support to the campaign launched by three advertising professionals, those who don’t own vehicles went for taxis and autos so as to reach their destination.

‘The queues for buses were very long and I cannot afford to reach office late. I had to take a rickshaw to work,’ said communications professional Khantil Shah.

July B., a finance professional, agreed. ‘I might take a bus in the evening. But I cannot afford to do this in the morning and get delayed.’

But with drivers continuing to overcharge, there were heated rows between the drivers and commuters.

Those registered with the organisers of the ‘Meter Jam’ campaign offered a ride to others.

Many walked short distances or take a bus.

‘I generally take an auto as my workplace is only three kilometers away from my residence. Today I left early and took a bus. This is the least I could do to support the campaign,’ said Arindam Biswas.

Advertising professionals Jaidev Rupani, Rachna Brar and Abhilash Krishnan launched the campaign last week through social networking websites. They asked people to use car pools and also provided information on various bus routes and alternative means of transport to boycott taxis and autos.

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