Saturday, June 15, 2024

Fallacies woven in a convenient blessing


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No doubt, the Supplementary Shillong

Public Transport Service (SSPTS) also known as the red Maxi cabs of the government run and operated by the Synroplang self help group has rendered good services to the people of the city and its suburb but have anyone tried to keep a note on the performances of these government vehicles.

From overloading to overcharging, these Maxi cabs have followed the trend of the local taxi drivers who were once hated by the commuters for their ‘I don’t care’ attitude.

Not all, but a few drivers of the maxi cabs were seen carrying passengers more than the arranged sitting capacity and they thought; only taxi drivers break all the rules.

Overcharging comes next in the long list of complaints lodged by the people. “I was travelling from PB to Laban with my family in a maxi cab (FT/C 0004) recently when we were asked to pay Rs 10 each when the fare is Rs 5”, a daily commuter complained.

Similar complaints have been pouring from passengers who board these vehicles on a daily basis. But not to forget, they at the same time lauded the services provided by these vehicles.

Reacting to these complaints, a source from the Synroplang self help group said there have been complaints from commuters on such cases and “we have tried to rectify these problems but there are times, especially in the late hours when people would force the drivers take them despite the fact that the vehicle is full.”

As far as overcharging and cross routes are concerned, complaints has been coming from the passengers who called the office at the complaint line number provided and made visible at every maxi cabs which is 9402118436.

“We have tried to sort out this problem as well and have booked some of the erring drivers”, the source said adding that there have been times when the actual amount is Rs 5 but due to lack of changes, the drivers were forced to charge either Rs 10 or let them go without paying.

Reacting to the complaint lodged by the passenger of Laban, the source said “we have just started sending the maxi cabs to ply to Laban and on a trial basis, we have arranged the price to be Rs 5 but at the end of the day, it was realized that the outcome is very less, so we have asked the drivers to charge Rs 10 and check the outcome respectively”, he said adding that till date, they have not yet fixed the rate for Laban.

When asked, how they keep a record of the income at the end of the day without having any evidential proofs like the SPTS buses which issue tickets, the source said that on a daily basis, drivers are asked to bring back Rs 1500 at the most and that too depending on the routes.

“We don’t expect a driver plying towards NEIGRIHMS or Mawpat or far off places to bring us that amount”, he said.

Meanwhile, commenting on monthly collections, the sources said “Most of the time, we usually collect around 80,000 or 90,000 and from that amount, money for petrol is deducted as well as the salary for the drivers and the rest is being shared with the government.”

He also informed that at present, around 116 maxi cabs are plying in the city and its suburbs from 7.30am to 8pm every day.

Commenting on the recruitment process, the source said, the drivers have to undergo a driving test first and then undergo an interview before being selected for the particular job. He also maintained that depending on the plea of the dorbar shnong, they would send three to four vehicles to the same area to ease the commuting problems of the public.

So far, they have received 15 more new maxi cabs with better caliber, Maximo (Mahindra) while the rest are Tata Magic of Tata Motors.

Overall, one cannot deny the fact that there are always two sides of a coin, they might ease the public but at the same time, they might annoy them as well as the traffic police who toil day and night just to witness vehicles being parked in a no-parking zone or stop at a no-stopping zone.

At the end of day, it is service to the people that matters like Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur says, “Whoever renders service to many puts himself in line for greatness – great wealth, great return, great satisfaction, great reputation, and great joy”.

(By Ibankyntiew Mawrie)


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