‘Dadagiri’ Of Auto-drivers Has Posed A Trending Issue For Bhubaneswarites!
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning – Benjamin Franklin”
With great innovations comes great revolutions, curbing out the obsolete ones and bringing out the new ones, making life easier for people & society as a whole. Humans have a natural instinct to opt for new innovations and similar was the case with auto rickshaws after the hit of Startups like Ola, Uber, Jugnoo and others in Bhubaneswar. Perhaps, the friction between service providers like Uber, OLA, Jugnoo and the local auto drivers has created havoc. The regulars have eventually established a silent nexus that has turned into a form of dictatorship, and this time it is not only our convenience and comfort that is compromised but our safety and security is also at stake.
Summed up below are the recent observations by MCL which clearly portrays the new, burgeoning tiff in the city, which has disturbed the lives of denizens and tourists as well.
The Monopoly of the regulars
The service providers offer excellent services with proper meter reading per kilometer and Air Conditioned Vehicles with lesser fare than the conventional auto rickshaws who never make fair charges and the charges were based on random oral amounts without any authentic bills or metering. So, it’s obvious that as per Darwins Law, the fittest shall survive the best, but in case of the ranked one smart city, the fittest are being suppressed with mayhem and dominance. Over the past few months there has been a sharp increase in complaints against the regulars and a sturdy, almost negligible decrease in measures to keep them in check. Many instances have occurred where the regulars have dealt the drivers of the service providing companies with aggression.
The ordeals of the Service Providers
Eventually, as time passed by and episodes of higher magnitude have occurred, the minds of service providers have been instilled with fear. As of now, there has been consistency in the chaos and a sharp decline in the availability of their services. Not because of any genuine reason, but the fact that they don’t want to face any troubles caused by the regulars. Incase service providers enter the “So called Domain” of the regulars, they face complications like damaged windshields, dented bodies, slashed tires and even losing their devices to someone who has no authority of touching it. If they are having an exceptionally bad day they might even be taught a lesson by being assaulted publicly.
The reality checks
On being approached as to why the regulars are doing what they are, they have one practiced answer, i.e. because of the service providers they are losing out on customer and come to think of it, why should we even work under anyone when we can be our own masters? On further digging, certain startling aspects were revealed. The autos driven by the regulars aren’t completely legal. The vehicles don’t have certain documents causing them not to be registered or they have a goof up in their licenses. That’s the precise reason service providers didn’t appoint them. But another question that bothers us is that why is there such a major difference in the prices? Service providers typically follow a metered rate card whereas the regulars quote the first price that pops in their head.
Steps taken by the authorities to tackle the situation
To get this situation under control, officials took a step to install pre-paid auto stalls and Pink auto stalls exclusively for women. Though the Prepaid stall exists, the rates are still exorbitant. Not only that, the efficiency is questioned as most of the times these stalls aren’t operational. Where, on the contrary,we have pink autos that accommodate men. What we mean by accommodate is the overfilling of the auto with 8 people where the limit should be 4. More disturbing fact which worries the situation is knowing that the authorities have been silent over this matter.
Time to take a stand and bring a smart change
If the same scenario persists, then the state might end up failing to attract more investments and innovation in the field of transportation. Moreover, making the city top the smart city list is a big deal. It is now our time to progress. From where we stand, we have two options. One is we can either deteriorate back in time, a time pre-liberalization. Or we could move a step forward, take a stand and become the citizens, the city deserves. Sculpt the city and polish it to the glaze of perfection.
Don’t you think it is high time to become the smart citizens which Bhubaneswar rightly deserves?
[Special Inputs: Bibhu Bahalia]