Auto mayhem

A party flag fluttering on a three-wheeler bonnet and double the fair that is usually charged for on the other days is what one should be ready for before taking an auto-rickshaw nowadays. Salt Lake might be less inaccessible considering the less number of buses. People usually prefer to take a shuttle (vans or call center cabs) or an auto to reach their destination on time. In our beloved Subhas da’s para, buses cannot be trusted since most of them will first give a ride across Salt Lake and then head towards wherever one wants to go. A journey that would take 15 minutes in an auto, thus, would be stretched to 40 minutes. A colleague, who used to take an auto to reach Ultadanga and then Sovabazaar Metro station to catch a train till Chandni Chowk, had a tough time waiting for the autos. Autos, from Karunamoyee to Ultadanga, took passengers till City Centre what they call a kata-passenger tried to play safe till 2 p.m. but after that fares shot up. She took an auto with a Party flag till Ultadanga and paid double the fair. The driver said his auto had LPG kit installed, which was evidently a lie. The driver also said that two-stroke autos would ply from 6 p.m. but at their own risk. He said that all this confusion is because of the bandh. But, a rise in fair? If the auto she was commuting in really had an LPG kit installed then would that justify the almost-extortion by the drivers flaunting party flags? One of the facets of a bandh, indeed. On the other days, however, there is a board to show their Union affiliation that they keep juggling with. They would put up the board to use the stands but hide it to take a kata-passenger.. Subhas da are you listening?

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