Law and order
Bengaluru autorickshaw drivers were fined for refusing to ply to certain destinations, demanding more fare and also not having valid or improper documents.

Traffic police in Bengaluru on Tuesday went on a crackdown against errant autorickshaw drivers who refused to ply on metered fares or denied rides in three out of the seven zones of the city. To catch offenders in the act, police officials posed as regular commuters in prime junctions under these zones and asked to be dropped at various locations in the city.

In total more than 5,200 drivers were slapped with fines by the police across the city. The violations included refusing to ply to certain destinations, demanding more fare and also not having valid or improper documents.

The number of auto drivers refusing rides were 797 in the East zone, 697 in the West zone and 81 in the North zone. Similarly, those demanding extra fare were 682 in the East, 604 in the West and 60 in the North zone. Another 212 autos from the East zone and 280 from West zone were seized by the police for having no or improper documents carried by the drivers. In these three zones, another 2,000-odd auto drivers were fined for minor offences like not wearing uniform and other violations. All these violations resulted in the traffic police collecting Rs 8,06,200 in fines.

One traffic constable working in Chickpet Police Station in the West Zone said, “Only two out of 10 auto drivers will agree to go to a distance of more than 4-5 km on metre. This is the complaint we keep on getting from the public as well.”

Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) BR Ravikant Gowda said that similar drives will be carried out in other zones of the city as well in light of multiple complaints against auto drivers. This drive from the traffic police comes after a similar initiative in July when more than 9,000 auto drivers were fined.

Narayan Swamy, President of Adarsh Auto Driver Union in Bengaluru said, “These drives are important. Because of some auto drivers who over charge, all auto drivers get a bad name and people prefer Uber/ Ola cabs instead of autos. This results in less business for us”