Complaint cards hard to come by

NEW DELHI: The traffic police say one must complain when an autorickshaw driver misbehaves, overcharges or refuses a passenger.
Joint commissioner of police (traffic), Maxwell Pereira, had said, ‘‘At present, we are not getting enough complaints. We want people to complain so we can take errant drivers to task.’’

And information on where to complain was provided by deputy commissioner of police (VIP traffic) S B S Tyagi. ‘‘Dial 100 or 3378888 (traffic police helpline). Or fill up the complaint cards and send it to us,’’ he said. These complaint cards need no postage.

‘‘But one should ask the traffic police where these complaint cards are available?’’ said a regular autorickshaw commuter Sudipto Poti, a resident of Mohammadpur. The traffic police claim the cards are readily available at all pre-paid auto and taxi booths, traffic assistance booths and police stations. But Lata, a Venkateshwara college student who commutes from her Palam residence, begs to differ. ‘‘More often than not, you cannot get them from traffic assistance booths,’’ she said.

An assistant commissioner in the traffic police said the cards are available, but area traffic inspectors are usually ‘‘too pre-occupied with their enforcement duties’’. He added, ‘‘Nor do they goad their area policemen to distribute them.’’

Traffic policemen in the road safety cell distribute the cards at the various exhibitions or awareness programmes they conduct. ‘‘But these are mainly in schools where students (who generally do’nt use autos and taxis) either tear them or lose them,’’ said a traffic inspector. Poti, who is quite fed up of arguing with auto drivers everyday, says,‘‘Why can’t the traffic policemen carry packs of these cards. One can’t expect a harassed commuter to find the nearest traffic assistance booth and then fill up a complaint card. One should be able to get the cards from the next traffic cop they see.’’

But deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Sanjay Singh says the policemen already have too much to carry. He says, ‘‘He already has his wireless set and stationary.’’ But he has a tip for commuters: Just complain to the nearest traffic policeman.

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