There is outrage and indignation at the way Makkal Auto drivers were beaten up and their autos vandalised
Yesterday’s incidents have done one good thing. They have shown us that we have the support of the people. So many have called me up, and not just from Coimbatore. I promise to restore Makkal Auto service as soon as I can. I only appeal to the people to support us.
It is impossible for the police to be everywhere to protect us. It is the makkal of our city who have to stand by us. They are our security.
Managing Director, Makkal Auto
Call taxis experienced similar bullying
I know exactly what Makkal Auto is going through. In 2002, something similar happened to call taxis. A vehicle of Citi Call Taxi was damaged near the Railway Station and the driver hurt by angry auto drivers. But, we stood united. Call taxi operators went to the B4 police station and resolved the case with the help of an understanding advocate. When Selvaraj started Makkal Auto, I warned him he may experience something similar, but asked him not to back down. I will repeat the same advice today. It will be a struggle, but they must hold on, like we did. Today, call taxis ply without fear on the roads.
Managing Director, Best Call Taxi
Our hands are tied
Most drivers over-charge a handful of customers and not work for the rest of the day. Not all of us are like that.ξ
Even if I want to charge a reasonable rate, the unions don’t allow it. They should not have hurt the Makkal drivers. How can you do that to a fellow-driver? This driver has to put in hard work if he has to earn a decent living. How can you harm him?
Rajesh (name changed)
I was at a railway crossing and there was an auto parked in the middle of the road with at least 10 children packed into it. When I looked for the driver, I saw him smoking while the kids waited. But that’s auto drivers in Coimbatore for you. Yesterday’s attack on Makkal Auto was despicable. I am never ever going to use an auto here. It’s anyway too expensive. Why would anyone want to travel by a badly maintained autorickshaw when they can travel by an air conditioned Sedan for a cheaper fare?
I have been charged upto Rs. 150 from Red Fields to the Railway station (about three km).
Auto drivers flagrantly flout traffic norms by plying against one-way traffic and under the nose of the cops. I hope the authorities ensure the public-spirited Makkal Auto is allowed to operate.
I pride myself on being a Coimbatorean, though I work in Delhi. In comparison, the Delhi autowallahs are far better (this is not to flatter Coimbatore). Once, from Sowripalayam Piravu to Thomas Park, the driver charged Rs. 100. Not ONCE have I travelled by the meter…Not once.
S. Shweta, Teacher
I am so ashamed. Rehman (a Makkal auto driver) told me about what happened. I hope Makkal Auto stays strong and perseveres.
Here is someone trying to be honest and hardworking and the goons manhandle them! Shameful.