Meter Jam - Aug 12

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alok padhi

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Aug 11, 2010, 11:38:57 AM8/11/10
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Hi All,

To display the power of public and shake the auto-taxi-dadagiri
system,This 12th August, Mumbai decides to ditch autos and taxis and
bring the meter to a halt.

Lets take this initiative to other cities (like Bangalore, Chennai ...
) of India as well.

http://www.facebook.com/meterjam

Thanks,
Alok

Mohan

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Aug 12, 2010, 10:15:17 AM8/12/10
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My response to Meter Jam... http://www.witnesstimes.com/2010/fishpond/
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Sandil Srinivasan

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Aug 13, 2010, 3:23:07 AM8/13/10
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Mohan,
 
I agree with you (a first!). Maybe it's a good idea for people to tip rickshaw drivers for a good, timely ride home to see your loved ones, or to be in time for a meeting (the probability of getting on time from point A to point B in Bangalore is the same as bin Laden wishing Merry Christmas on twitter).
 
Bit I've asked several rickshaw drivers in my lifetime about their family, kids and other random things. Very few communicated back in a friendly way, and he was well past his fifties. The others took my questioning to be suspicious and that was the last thing I ended up asking them. You get better conversations when you complain about one-ways, discuss Yediyurappa and get his opinioin on Sonu Nigam - in that order.
 
So to put things in perspective, back in 2008 rickshaw drivers in Bangalore had to pay almost 120-170 rupees per day to their owner, they had to take care of the fuel too. The rest of the amount was their profit. The profit margin on the fuel is about 3-4 rupees per kilometer, so they have to clock about 37-50 "metered" kilometers in a day to start seeing profit. They end up clocking stretches of almost 5 hours at a time, and work about 12 to 14 hours a day. They'll know the clutch better than their spouses. Now picture looking at your timesheet at the end of the week, clocking 14 hours a day, not all of which is billable and productive - and in spite of that not getting a quarterly bonus and not even falling into a bracket of taxable income. Of course you can picture it, it's so easy. So it's no co-incidence that as it gets late at the night, apart from traffic (and customers) becoming thin, drivers have to take drastic measures to meet their daily targets.
 
Also, the fact that the Bangalore airport (now closer to Hyderabad than Bangalore) traffic is being serviced by a mixture of Meru and EasyCabs, speeds that rickshaws can't compete against, has eaten into their business. The Nano is another big threat as it costs alteast 60,000 lesser than a rickshaw.
 
For every generalization there is an exception, so it's wrong to generalize them as bullies. I'm not a fan of Meter Jam at all. Turning down all rickshaw drivers on *one* day who are out there to earn their daily bread, waiting for customers like you, and you - knowing very well that not all of them are as arrogant - don't take a rick - prompts one to question your intelligenceAs far as the thinking goes, it's almost the harmless equivalent of a terrorist blowing up three-thousand 'infidels' knowing very well that some of them in the building are actually not 'infidels'.
 
So I'm not asking people to donate money to them - just telling them that if they're out there to earn their daily bread, don't deny them the opportunity to do so. And if one or two (or ten or fifteen or hundred) are arrogant, give them a miss and continue with the rest.
 
On a less serious note - Chennai? Really? In Chennai, meters are always jammed anyway. It's not like the rickshaw driver won't wake up on Sunday morning and brush the dust off <fill-Tamil-hero-name-here>'s photo on the meter. Chennnai rickshaw meters make it to the top of the "as good as new" list on the used items-for-sale in "The Hindu" Classifieds section.
 
And I don't even know what Mumbai (er, Bombay!) is complaining about? Rick/taxi drivers are generally good there, they don't take you from one part of the city to the other via a village, they'll happily stop for you to have your daily ice-cream, and most of all, the stories are a great hear. "Salman once took my auto at night ... scared Govinda at his house ... did pushups inside it ... Katrina came and then left (no pun intended) .... " .
 
So much for displaying "the power of public". People unite to react against rickshaw drivers for change, but refuse to unite when stray dogs maim and kill children in slums. Just because it doesn't touch their daily lives.


From: blogal...@googlegroups.com [mailto:blogal...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Mohan
Sent: Thursday, August 12, 2010 4:15 PM
To: blogal...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [Blog'a'Loreans] Meter Jam - Aug 12

Ujjwal Grover

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Aug 13, 2010, 5:03:13 AM8/13/10
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Hi,

As much as I sympathize with rickshaw drivers' low daily incomes, I feel compelled to say that expecting people to pay more than the state fixed amount per km of ride, as a mark of solidarity and to help a poor 'brother'(reference to the pledge), isn't going to work. You see thats not how our society works. We go to a shop/hotel/theatre/rent a cab etc, we do the business and get out. We dont get involved with the person at the other end, never have. Most people while ordering their food in a restaurant, garnish their orders with as little courtesy as you'll find veggies in any college mess's sambhar. Not much different when we ask why our household help got late.  Expecting things to be any different while hiring an auto (knowing that the person hiring it would have heard all urban legends of the autowalahs' dadagiri) is pointless. Bottom line is business in India is business and theres not much courtesy and/or concern for the other shown by either parties unless there's an incentive behind it.

But that said, it doesnt mean we let things go on as they are. People are becoming increasingly annoyed with autowalahs who themselves are becoming more of a nuisance each day. The fact that people are now organizing things like meterjam is proof enough that they don't give a shit about the 'other' any more.

If we really need to solve this problem, we need the authorities to decide on a better rate per km for the auto rickshaws which gives them a chance to live a better life. Also at the same time then ensure that meters aren't dicked around with and that there are surprise checks (a la flying squads) to gauge the auto and driver.

Once both parties feel that their side has been looked after, then we can have business as usual (with no courtesy of course).

ujj
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Thejesh GN

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Aug 13, 2010, 6:27:32 AM8/13/10
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I am a capitalist. Privatize the autos. Let the markets play. Works for them and works for us.
Thej
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Ujjwal Grover

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Aug 13, 2010, 6:43:39 AM8/13/10
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arent they already?

Sandil Srinivasan

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Aug 13, 2010, 7:05:40 AM8/13/10
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Perhaps he means a la Meru Ricks - order it. Then you have Easy Ricks that compete against them.

That's one way to fit a satnav into an auto - which I think is Thej's clandestine intent ...

________________________________

From: blogal...@googlegroups.com on behalf of Ujjwal Grover
Sent: Fri 8/13/2010 12:43 PM
To: blogal...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [Blog'a'Loreans] Meter Jam - Aug 12


arent they already?


On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 3:57 PM, Thejesh GN <i...@thejeshgn.com> wrote:


I am a capitalist. Privatize the autos. Let the markets play. Works for them and works for us.

Thej
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Ujjwal Grover

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Aug 13, 2010, 7:30:02 AM8/13/10
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Well we do have an EasyAuto http://www.easyauto.in/

Sandil Srinivasan

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Aug 13, 2010, 7:31:14 AM8/13/10
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Holy shit, it has GPS already! Wow. How do they physically secure it?

________________________________

From: blogal...@googlegroups.com on behalf of Ujjwal Grover
Sent: Fri 8/13/2010 1:30 PM
To: blogal...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [Blog'a'Loreans] Meter Jam - Aug 12


Well we do have an EasyAuto http://www.easyauto.in/

On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 4:35 PM, Sandil Srinivasan <ssri...@tibco.com> wrote:


Perhaps he means a la Meru Ricks - order it. Then you have Easy Ricks that compete against them.

That's one way to fit a satnav into an auto - which I think is Thej's clandestine intent ...

________________________________

From: blogal...@googlegroups.com on behalf of Ujjwal Grover
Sent: Fri 8/13/2010 12:43 PM

To: blogal...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [Blog'a'Loreans] Meter Jam - Aug 12



arent they already?


On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 3:57 PM, Thejesh GN <i...@thejeshgn.com> wrote:


I am a capitalist. Privatize the autos. Let the markets play. Works for them and works for us.

Thej
--
Thejesh GN

http://thejeshgn.com <http://thejeshgn.com/> <http://thejeshgn.com/>

# blog: www.witnesstimes.com <http://www.witnesstimes.com/> <http://www.witnesstimes.com/>

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Mohan

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Aug 13, 2010, 9:48:03 AM8/13/10
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Wow thats a real first Sand! :) :P

Anyway, true it probably is a bad idea to start talking about the driver's home address, wife, and kids as soon as you get into an auto.. Come on... Use your common sense! What would you think if someone asked you all that when you're, say, travelling on a bus? My post was not a literal instruction guide, rather a desperate call for love.

@Ujj, absolutely Ujj. I agree with you, when you say people don't care. Thats what I'm up against (albeit, probably foolishly). You can have systems, and more systems. But the famous dialogue from Matrix says it all - "Some rules can be bent. Others, can be broken."

Systems don't work. Its time humanity realised that. Atleast not as well as they want it to. It just leads us to the spiral of making more systems to cover the gaps of the original systems, and so on and so forth. Its much easier, I think, and better, if we could just do away with all those systems, but the very basic sustaining ones, and engage instead of systemise.

@Thej, yup, lets get together and mess up the world a lil more :) Probably also give inspiration for Obama's boys...

@2S, oh yeah, they have GPS alright. And a TV screen affixed behind the drivers seat.. sigh... Times are a changin...


Oh, my pragmatic suggestion, also for immediate better effect, for improving the corrupt auto situation is, make the drivers go on a yoga and meditation course. Try to encourage them to practise it somehow. I bet there'll be an automatic difference... Though of course, it is the forcing of an ideology on them.. :(

Abhinaba Basu

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Aug 13, 2010, 6:34:27 AM8/13/10
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agree
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On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 3:57 PM, Thejesh GN <i...@thejeshgn.com> wrote:

Abhinaba Basu

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Aug 13, 2010, 6:52:38 AM8/13/10
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They are. But in case of auto problem we have to file a complain against it to the RTO not to any private org. If they privatize and companies like meeru or easy cab take the control, it would be better I think...

check the 3rd comment here. You will find how difficult it is to file a complain through RTO.


Thanks &  Regards,
Abhinaba Basu
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NDS Services Pay TV Technology Pvt. Ltd,
Mobile: 91-9986034165,
Mail:  abhina...@gmail.com
Web: http://thefundoowriter.wordpress.com/


Abhinaba Basu

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Aug 13, 2010, 7:51:30 AM8/13/10
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Not only that. I traveled in one of easy auto. they keep newspaper also (Bangalore Mirror)... :)

Thanks &  Regards,
Abhinaba Basu
SSE,
NDS Services Pay TV Technology Pvt. Ltd,
Mobile: 91-9986034165,
Mail:  abhina...@gmail.com
Web: http://thefundoowriter.wordpress.com/


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