WhatsApp spells trouble for errant auto drivers
It has been hardly a month since the Thane traffic police started taking complaints against errant rickshaw drivers, and the department claims to have received and solved 137 complaints related to rickshaw and traffic during this period.
Using the popularity and ease of WhatsApp after it became a hit among social media users, the Thane traffic police had started an initiative of receiving passenger complaints on WhatsApp. This was mainly because a lot of people who were at the receiving end of errant rickshaw drivers deferred taking action against the latter citing cumbersome legal processes.
“Most of these people would grumble if the driver was rude or charged the wrong auto fare, and that would be it,” said a senior official from Thane traffic police department. “They would just walk away from the situation citing time constraints involved in lodging a complaint against the errant rickshaw driver,” he added.
Hence, to provide a quick grievance redressal forum to such passengers, the Thane traffic police launched the initiative to receive complaints on WhatsApp in the last week of April. Under it, one just has to click the rickshaw’s licence plate number with the driver’s photo ( if possible) and send it to the traffic police’s WhatsApp number, and the department would ensure action and also reply to your message about the action taken.
This convenient system seems to have proved to be a hit. DCP Rashmi Karandikar of the Thane traffic police said, “From the day it was initiated till today, we have received 137 complaints and all of them have been addressed.” She added: “Besides com- plaints against rickshaw drivers, we have also received intimation regarding traffic problems, parking issues, etc on our WhatsApp number.”
So before you park your car or bike illegally somewhere, do remember that someone might click the picture and send it on this WhatsApp to have your vehicle towed away.
Moreover, to discipline the rickshaw drivers who are habitual defaulters, the department has also forwarded information about two particular drivers to the Regional Transport Office to get their licences revoked. “Now, it is up to the RTO to take necessary action,” Karandikar said. “The students used to message their seat numbers to the accused on WhatsApp and later papers were provided to them,” Nishandar said.
“Some students would just sign their attendance and leave the papers without writing a word and they would later write the papers. The answer sheets had come from exam centres in Karjat, Kharghar, Airoli, Kamothe and Navi Mumbai,” he added. The accused have been booked for cheating, criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation of property.
Controller of examination Deepak Vasav said: “Soon after receiving a police inquiry report, a meeting will be held by the exam committee expeditiously and strict action will be taken against the guilty.”
A labourer in a salt pan in Mahul makes his way back home after work on Saturday —
File photo of an auto driver refusing to carry a customer