11 months ago TPP 0

Of late,  clashes between the auto-drivers and the police have become quite commonplace.  Apart from cars and other vehicles that add to the ever growing number of automobiles  on the limited roads in Port Blair and its suburbs, the population of auto-rickshaws too has registered a quantum jump.  The result is choked roads with vehicles parked on both sides making them look like  narrow lanes.  City roads now resemble any other city and town in the mainland India.  Gone are the days when anybody could stand in the middle of the road and sip tea without being disturbed by any moving vehicle. Crossing the road was just a cake walk even for the elderly, women and children. No more.  Now the things have taken a turn for the worse.  Unchecked population of auto-rickshaws has helped exacerbate the situation even more.  Violation of traffic rules and road accidents, many of them fatal, has become frightening order of the day. Finding safety in numbers, auto-rickshaw drivers have also started flexing muscle. The fare meters installed in the autos are seldom used to the utter dismay of the helpless commuters.  Seeing their authority being challenged, the cops occasionally come down heavy upon the auto drivers. As a  consequence, there are wildcat strikes that put the common man to even more trouble.  Extra-ordinary situation needs extra-ordinary solutions. It’s high time the warring parties came down  to the negotiating table to find a permanent solution to the vexing problem in the larger interest of the common man who is the prime victim of the ongoing tussle.  One can only hope that the saner sense would prevail.