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Who’s afraid of the autorickshawallahs? (With due respects to Virginia Woolf)


The autorickshawallahs have tasted blood.

After holding the city commuters hostage through unannounced strikes, morchas et al they have been able to wrest a tariff hike from the authorities. And this doesn’t seem to be the end of it. A very fine print in one of the reports mentioned that the new tariff would vary depending on whether the autorickshaw is fuelled by gas or petrol (what are the chances that the auto that you travel in, most of the times, will be fuelled by petrol, just sayin’).

Judging by the behavior of the union leaders in this whole rigmarole the day will not be far when taking an autorickshaw will require the same deliberation as choosing whether to travel by train or air.

Thinking about it is already giving me the jitters.

Many people are offering many solutions. One suggested that autorickshaws should be banned.

My jitters have now transformed into full-scale shivering and chattering of teeth (due to fear).

They say, every cloud has a silver lining. What could be the one in this case?

Happily I have listed below not one, but ten good things that could happen in the above-mentioned scenario:

1)      Pollution would reduce tremendously with almost lakhs of autos off the roads.

2)      With less traffic on the road we would reach our destination faster which in turn would help to lower the BP (blood pressure) and RR (road rage) of the commuting public.

3)      Epidemics would be a thing of the past once the auto drivers are not spitting on the roads and spreading germs.

4)      We would become less stressed out as we would need to factor in adequate time to take the public means of transport.

5)      With a large chunk of population again falling back on public services, the Government would be forced to provide a safe and comfortable mode of transport.

6)      We would become healthier as we would prefer to walk to our destination.

7)      With more people taking to the streets to walk, the Government would be forced to repair potholes and  to complete infrastructure work at the earliest.

8)      With 5 and 6 happening, overall health of the populace would go a notch higher thus increasing productivity and then who could stop India from becoming a superpower in reality and not just on paper.

9)      Sales of sports shoes would increase (I really can’t imagine why this could be a silver lining especially as the rates of branded shoes can cast a deep gray cloud in many a heart).

10)   All the above factors could make us not just a young city but also a fit one.

*Waking up from dream*

Breaking News: Autorickshaw fares hiked again.

Oh, well!


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6 thoughts on “Who’s afraid of the autorickshawallahs? (With due respects to Virginia Woolf)

  1. Good start to the blog…

    But I think it’s time for you to try out an autorickshaw in Chennai. It’s the ULTIMATE travelling experience in life… haggling with the guys, picking arguments, blood pressure rising faster than mercury in Chennai heat…. unbelievable!

    Add to that the fact that autorickshaws are tier (tyre) three sore losers, pollutants (you already covered that) and add more to trafffic than jokes off a Stand up comedian…. you have chaos made to order!!

    • Hi KN,

      Thanks for your interesting insights about autorickshawallahs. Wherever they may be, the challenges autorickshaws and their drivers offer are almost similar.

      I think the issue of safe, reliable, ecofriendly and affordable public transportation must be addressed urgently both by the Government and the populace alike.


      Sonia Rao

  2. indira on said:

    congratulations !!! well done !!! I like the name of your blog.

    how about if the autorickshas will be replaced by “NANO” cars?

    • Hi Indira,

      Thanks a ton for your best wishes and compliments.

      There were talks about the Nano car replacing the autorickshaws but let’s see if it happens. I guess Tata Motors wasn’t too happy about it, seeing that it defeated the purpose for which the Nano was originally developed.

      In the worst- case scenario I think we’ll just become a healthier lot, lol.


      Sonia Rao

  3. namyo gigi on said:

    congrats sonia for ur new blog
    appreciate your off-centre lookout for autos–but we can throw the baby with the bathwater–the advantages that you higlighted are attractive but utopian–coz i dont think we can ever do away with autos–we may have fancier vehicles to replace them and stuff but will that change the dynamics?
    namyo gigi

    • Dear Namyo,

      Thank you so much for your kind wishes.

      What you say is so true and we certainly can’t be rid of the autorickshaws, that is a fact. Atleast, till the time we get better and greener alternatives. 🙂

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