While autorickshaws charged higher fares than usual, cab drivers refused to come towards Lutyens' Delhi due to the protests against the controversial citizenship law on Thursday. With the closure of 20 metro stations due to the protest, commuters had a double whammy as they battled high auto fares and rejection from cab drivers.
Usha Desai, a media professional, said she had to pay double the charge when she boarded an auto-rickshaw from R K Ashram Marg to her office on Sansad Marg.
"Usually, I get down at Central Secretariat to reach office. But when I learnt that it is closed, I decided to get down at Janpath but by the time I reached there it had also been closed," she said.
"Even Rajiv Chowk was closed, so I got down at R K Ashram Marg and took an auto which charged me Rs 100. The usual fare is Rs 40," Desai said.
Another commuter, Neerja Mathur, said cab drivers refused to come to areas near Parliament Street and she had to drop her decision of taking a cab to her office.
"I was booking a cab from Noida to reach my office on Parliament Street since the metro stations near my office were closed. But many drivers refused to go to Parliament Street saying they do not want to get stuck.
"One of the drivers said he will drop me to Mayur Vihar and I can take the metro from there but refused to come to Lutyens' Delhi area," she said.
Ritu Gupta also had to shell out a little more for her auto-rickshaw ride from Mayur Vihar to Lutyens' Delhi.
Gupta said she usually pays Rs 130 from Mayur Vihar but had to pay Rs 200 on Thursday after one of the drivers agreed to take her to her destination.
Prannoy Raikhy, a legal associate at a private company in Vasant Vihar, had a similar tale to narrate as he had to wait for 40 minutes for a cab.
He takes a metro from Janakpuri to Vasant Vihar everyday, but he had to get off a few stations before as Vasant Vihar metro station was closed.
"Munirka station is also close to my office, but it was shut. I was not able to use Shankar Vihar station, which is the second nearest station to my office since it is inaccessible to civilians owing to its location in an Army area," he said.
Raikhy rued that he had to get off at IGI airport station following which he waited for a cab for about 40 minutes and paid a higher fare.
Senior opposition leaders, students and activists were detained by police on their way to two mega demonstrations against the new citizenship law as prohibitory orders and restrictions on internet and mobile phone services in parts of Delhi-NCR region inconvenienced thousands of people.
Two protests were scheduled in Delhi, one by students and activists and the other by the Left parties. The two marches were to meet at Shaheed Park near ITO.