Only for women? Think again

Pink autos of Gurgaon are not serving the purpose


Shivani Chaturvedi | January 3, 2011

The Gurgaon administration recently launched auto rickshaws exclusively for women. On its front and rear parts is written 'keval mahilaen' or 'women only'. Partly coloured in pink, the 10 such rickshaws operating in the city are an eye-catcher even for a passerby.

But it’s more a window dressing than an intercity transport facility. Though reserved for women, such rickshaws are hardly able to provide service to the fair sex desiring to commute in the city. Reason: Overcharging by autowalas and of course the lack of availability.

No metres are installed to read the fare. Auto drivers charge as per their will. The minimum fare is Rs 50 and beyond that one has to pay what the drivers ask for or at the most negotiate with them to lessen the amount by Rs 10 or Rs 20. Once, coming from Delhi by metro, I got down at MG road station. As I stepped out of the station I found one such auto. Eager to get into the auto that was meant for women I asked the fare for sector 17 and 18 T point on Old Delhi Road. The reply was Rs 80. I asked the driver on what basis he was charging so much. Surendra Singh, the driver, replied that he won’t get any passenger from there so he was charging this much. He said he was helpless.

I stood there for another half an hour and witnessed that many of the ladies did not board the auto just because they were being asked for much higher amount. And why should they? What’s the use of coming up with a scheme which is there just for the sake of introducing something new, not bothering whether it is serving the purpose or not? Moreover, such autos can be seen standing just near the MG road metro stations. Maybe, they are less in number or they are not allowed by the other autowalas to wait in their areas. 

Moral of the story is, we do not need reservation everywhere. In this case, what is needed is a system that can check fleecing by auto drivers. Either authorities should fix the fares or metres should be installed in each auto. Plus, availability of public transport should be increased.



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