Pune Commuters to Enjoy Hassle-Free Auto Rides with New WhatsApp Complaint Channel

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Pune, 16th May 2024: Starting June 1, commuters in Pune will have access to a permanent WhatsApp helpline number dedicated to addressing issues encountered while hailing autorickshaws. Senior officials announced that individuals facing problems or inconveniences with autorickshaw services can lodge complaints with the Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO).

Sanjiv Bhor, the Pune regional transport officer, emphasized the necessity of establishing a dedicated helpline, stating that complaints concerning autorickshaw drivers were increasingly being brought to the RTO’s attention. He stressed the importance of curbing such instances and assured that action would be taken based on thorough investigations.

Commuters in Pune have long voiced concerns about various issues such as overcharging, trip refusals, and misconduct by auto drivers. Despite these complaints, authorities have been criticized for not adequately addressing the problems.

Harish Pandey, a resident of Kothrud and a frequent auto commuter, expressed frustration over the lack of action against auto drivers compared to the strict measures taken against bike taxis. He highlighted the disrespectful behavior of some auto drivers towards passengers.

Previously, individuals with grievances against auto drivers could only submit complaints via email or postal mail. Consequently, the number of complaints received by the RTO remained relatively low.

An unnamed RTO official acknowledged a recent surge in complaints filed directly at their office, indicating a concerning trend of harassment by auto drivers. The impending launch of the WhatsApp helpline is expected to result in a significant increase in complaint volume, presenting a challenge for the limited manpower available.

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The official explained that commuters would be required to provide evidence such as photographs of the autorickshaw and its registration number when lodging complaints. However, recognizing the difficulty in obtaining proof in certain situations, both parties involved would be given an opportunity to present their perspectives before a decision is reached.