The Telegraph
Saturday , March 1 , 2014
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United colours of no refusal
New label, old lament

Three Metro readers share their experience...

Taxi refusal continues to be rampant despite the introduction of the no-refusal fleet and no matter what the government does or the transport minister says, refusal will continue whether taxis are yellow or white, just as auto drivers will do as they please. I recently spotted a white Ambassador taxi with the words “no refusal” emblazoned across in blue, only to spot a board with the word “garage” written on it in bold rested against the windshield. This was around 8.30pm, opposite Jodhpur Park market. I was left wondering what then is the difference between a no-refusal taxi and the familiar yellow ones, many of which use the “garage” board to refuse passengers once the sun sets.

There is an urgent need to revamp the system, else common people will continue to suffer. I am fortunate enough to have a car but my blood boils when I see taxis refusing even elderly people or patients on their way to or leaving hospitals. Even if a policeman helps a commuter in distress by hailing down a taxi, the commuter is subjected to heated words all through the journey. It is indeed a sad state of affairs but then we can only watch and sigh.

Nisheeth Bijawat

On a Monday night a couple of weeks ago, I was returning from a party with my husband and a colleague when I had a trying time getting a taxi home. The party was at Bhowanipore and we walked up to Netaji Bhavan Metro station where we stopped a taxi (WB04E 9179). The moment the driver heard our destination — Mahamayatala near Garia — he demanded Rs 30 extra. We tried to reason with him but the driver was adamant. Considering it was late and there were few taxis on the road, we decided to give in. It was only then that one of us noticed that it was in fact a no-refusal taxi. As the driver turned on the meter, my husband asked him how he could refuse and bargain when he was driving a non-refusal taxi. The driver’s reply: “There is nothing called no refusal after 10pm”. “I’ll do what I wish,” he added in an agitated tone and even threatened not to take us when we complained about his rude behaviour. When we told him we would lodge a police complaint, he recited the vehicle registration number aloud, adding that we could do what we wished as he feared no one. We were shocked at his audacity but decided to end the matter there in fear of the possible consequences.

Saadia Sitwat

The other day I was returning from a dentist’s chamber on Sukeas Street, where I had undergone dental surgery. I wanted to take a taxi home to Salt Lake but soon realised that it was easier said than done. I hailed three empty cabs with no-refusal logos but all three sped past me. I could not even note down the registration numbers of the cabs. I started walking towards APC Road. This time when I spotted a cab, I stood in front of it so that it would stop. I requested the driver with folded hands to take me to Salt Lake and thankfully he agreed.

PB Saha

Have you been refused by a no-refusal taxi? Tell