PUNE: The Aam Aadmi Auto Rickshaw Sangathana (AAARS) alleged that the Pune railway administration had forced autorickshaw drivers to leave the premises on Tuesday night without prior intimation. Around 10-15 auto drivers had parked their three-wheelers near the Mahatma Gandhi statue.
According to AAARS, they where plying autos from the station on meter since January, but the railway authorities were trying to remove them. “The other autorickshaw drivers and app-based cab services Ola and Uber were trying to force us to leave the railway premises as we were illegally occupying the space. But we charge the fare according to the meter. The other auto drivers charge the fare according to their own whims,” said an auto driver of AAARS, who had parked his vehicle at the premises.
The AAARS alleged that the special squad headed by Station Director AK Pathak and Railway Protection Force (RPF) reached the auto stand and asked all drivers to vacate the place or face action.
Manoj Kumar Jhawar, Public Relations Officer (PRO), denied the allegations. He said the autorickshaws were in the no-parking zone and were given prior intimation to vacate the place.
“The autorickshaws were parked near the Mahatma Gandhi statue, which is a no-parking zone. Two lanes are provided to app-based cab services Ola and Uber because they have been awarded the space by the railway authorities from New Delhi. These autorickshaw drivers cannot park in their space and no other autorickshaws and taxis can park in the lane. Autorickshaws have displayed a banner that they are plying by the meter but putting banner without permission of the railway authority is prohibited,” said Jhawar.
“There is an autorickshaw stand beside the reservation office and that is a big area from where they can pick passengers coming from state transport bus stand also. This stand is also close to the parcel office. There is a separate stand for autorickshaws and they can park in a legal manner,” said Jhawar.