Mangaluru: I do not know whether to call it the arrogance of the oppressed or a rebellion against the oppressors, but the behaviour of the auto rickshaw drivers of Mangaluru, particularly when they are near bus stands and railway stations raises these doubts in the mind of a conscious citizen.
I was the target of such on the morning of the 9th when I had come from Bengaluru by train which had arrived at platform no 3 at around 8.30 am. Thinking that it was day time and public transport would be easily available, I came out of the railway station premises and was waiting on the road where dozens of auto-rickshaws were arriving every minute with drivers swooping like hawks on the travelers. Most of the empty ones did not even stop but one of them who did was very rude and arrogant. He asked me where I want to go and I mentioned the place. He wanted me to tell him where exactly as he wanted to fix a fare. I told him that the fares are decided by the reading on the meter and he ordered me off- his number was KA 19 KA 19AA 6521, the next one who arrived was ruder and more brusque and his number was KA19 AA 2976.
The one who came after that was an exception to the rule or probably my taking down his number unnerved him it was KA19 AA 2841, he dropped me home and collected Rs 53, the exact amount shown on the meter, which restored my faith in humanity and that all of them are not the same. Since the first two told me arrogantly to do what I want, I have complained to the RTO about it. But, it is time that the authorities take a look at what happens on the other side, that is the Attavar side of the Mangalore Central Railway station. The place is desolate with very poor lighting with no one to regulate the entry or exit. More number of trains arrive on platform 2 and 3 and these passengers have to climb steps of the pedestrian over bridge to come to the side where there is a prepaid counter, lighting and security.
I have filed a complaint to the RTO but I was told that since most of the passengers are outsiders or floating population they neither bother to complain nor protest. It is time that the railway and traffic authorities took a note of this exploitation of passengers at the Mangalore central. Of course, Mangalore Junction Railway Station is worse, but that is another story!