Nyayabhoomi, a non-government organisation working for auto-rickshaw drivers in the city, has carried out a “sting operation” to expose the murky dealings of auto-rickshaw union leaders in the Capital.
The DVD that was screened here this past week showed prominent auto-rickshaw union leaders in the city operating as touts and demanding money for licences, permits and fitness certificates from decoy auto-drivers who approached them.
“This is the truth of auto-rickshaw unions,” said Nyayabhoomi secretary Rakesh Agrawal.
The video showed union leaders quoting Rs.4,000 to Rs.6,000 for facilitating permit transfers (which actually cost Rs.2,350), issuing driving licences and offering to solve any official problem faced by the drivers. Many pocketed Rs.500 as the “token fee” for offering these services to decoy auto-drivers.
Mr. Agrawal explained that drivers were left with no choice but to make up for the extra expenditure by demanding higher fare from passengers.
The reason for such malpractices, Mr. Agrawal said “lack of information among auto-rickshaw drivers”. He said the auto-rickshaw unit at Burari had no facilities or information counters to properly guide auto-rickshaw drivers. In such a situation, drivers are forced to consult union leaders, who exploit the people they claim to represent.
A team from the NGO and other associated organisations have decided to help auto-rickshaw drivers free of cost and educate them about processes and procedures.
Nyayabhoomi will send copies of the DVD to various government departments including the Delhi Chief Minister's Office, the Transport Department, the Anti-Corruption Branch and the Traffic Police.