Indian actor Rahul Bose may have gone batshit crazy when he was asked to pay Rs 442 for two bananas at a five-star hotel, but the outrageous amount he shelled out ain’t got shit on this rickshaw driver in Pune who charged his passenger Rs 4,300 for an 18-kilometre ride.
At around 5 AM on Wednesday, September 18, an engineer from Bengaluru took a bus to Pune that dropped him off at Katraj, a suburb at the outskirts of the city. He tried to book a cab that would take him to the company accommodation arranged for him at Yerwada, some 18 kilometres away but didn’t manage to get one. That’s when he noticed a rickshaw approaching and when the one driving the rickshaw agreed to take him by meter, he decided he would take it, not realising that he was about to be taken for a ride. "One man drove the autorickshaw, while another on the passenger seat, who was actually the driver, appeared to be drunk. The driver said he asked his friend to drive to avoid any difficulty with the police,” the man mentioned in an FIR he filed with the police after he was forced to pay such a high amount.
Without noticing whether the rickshaw meter, which measures the rickshaw fare per kilometre, was set to zero, the man embarked on the journey to his accommodation. Except when he got there, he was asked to cough up a princely sum of Rs 4,300. He claimed that the people driving the rickshaw told him they had paid Rs 600 to enter Pune and would need another Rs 600 to exit the city, while his actual fare had come up to Rs 3,100. At the time, the engineer noticed that the roads around him were empty and had no choice but to pay the drivers out of fear for his safety. However, he was quick to note down the rickshaw’s registration number and filed a complaint with the police about this incident soon after.
For those who are familiar with this form of intrinsically Indian transport, rickshaws overcharging and drivers rigging the meters to make the customer pay more than what they should happens across India, and is a major point of frustration for most of us. But this is the first report of such an absurd amount being charged for a rickshaw ride, especially one that apparently went by the meter. "We have received the complaint application and will forward it to the chowki (police station) concerned”, an officer of the Yerwada police station told Mirror Now News, “They will search for the suspects and take action."
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