IITF rush spells brisk business for autodrivers
The Delhi Metro services almost collapsed due to commuters’ rush owing to the ongoing India International Trade Fair (IITF), forcing people to avail other modes of transport to reach their respective destinations via Pragati Maidan.
Autorickshaw drivers had a ball as they made a lot of money by over-charging and in some cases, they simply refused to ferry passengers.
The fair caused heavy jams at Pragati Maidan and other nearby stretches. Areas like Vikas Marg and Connaught Place witnessed traffic bottlenecks.
More than two lakh visitors thronged the Trade Fair on Thursday, a day after gurpurb, thereby clogging major arterial roads near Pragati Maidan and ITO. Commuters were left hassled and irritated when many autorickshaw drivers blatantly refused to ferry to areas near Pragati Maidan, citing snarls as a major problem.
Praveen, an autorickshaw driver, said, “There is a horrible traffic jam near Pragati Maidan so I am not going there and neither will I take any passenger, who wish to go there. Even if I cross that stretch, I charge extra as a lot of fuel is wasted in the journey.”
Shefali Sharma, a Delhi University student, said: “It was just another day for me when I got down at the Pragati Maidan Metro station as I wanted to go to Dariyaganj to meet a friend but no autorickshaw driver was willing to take me there. It was only after waiting for a long time that an autorickshaw driver agreed to take me but he asked for more money. I was helpless and agreed to shell out extra to reach my destination.”
People commuting from Central, New Delhi and South Delhi were caught in massive jams. To add to the woes of the commuters, who decided to take autorickshaws, Thursday turned out to be a nightmare.
Sneha, a resident of Nirman Vihar in East Delhi, travelling with her two children faced
a horrible time as she difficult to travel in the Metro and was not even getting an auto from her house to the Trade Fair venue.
She said: “I wanted to take my children to the trade fair but since the Metro is very over-crowded, I decided to take an autorickshaw. I was shocked to find that not even a single autorickshaw driver was willing to go there, citing heavy traffic jam as the reason.”