“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
I am sure Mahatma Gandhi wrote these words after facing something like what a couple of enthusiastic drivers faced in Ladakh. As reported by a Team-BHP member who has recently been to Ladakh; their convoy was attacked by the local taxi mafia. Why? Because of a belief that these people visiting the place driving their personal vehicles are taking away their bread.
Last year when our team visited Ladakh, it was noticed that the local taxi mafia there doesn’t use to allow any taxi from outside to take the tourists for sightseeing or visiting the worthy places. In other words, if you have reached Ladakh in a yellow plate clad vehicle, then you have no option other than hiring a local taxi for visiting places; no matter if they like the service and rates or not.
In a recent visit by our own team, it was found that this year the taxi mafia at Ladakh has decided to ban even the self-driven rentals like Zoomcar, etc from visiting the places or plying on the sightseeing routes. Dare you try to take your vehicle and the consequences can result into anything from vehicle damage to the personal injury. And now we bring you this situation, quite appalling, here.
The Team-BHP member was driving their brand new Toyota Fortuner in a convoy of 15 vehicles including two rentals. The convoy was attacked by the local taxi mafia starting from the rental cars which were first targeted and then the personal vehicles were also under the attack. Realizing the same, when the convoy guys tried to escape the place; a trap was awaiting them ahead. On the way ahead, the road was jammed and all the vehicles were smashed one after another without any regards for the occupants. We thank God that nobody faced any kind of major injury and everyone was able to return home safe and risk-free but what was really disappointing is that even the local police and administration refused to provide any kind of help except a couple of army camps which helped the victims and arrange for necessary repairs for their vehicles for continuing the return journey.
Ladakh, which is considered as the Mecca for driving enthusiasts with such sort of restlessness has suddenly started feeling a dangerous deal. With such incidents taking place and the indifference of the administration towards the mafia even after going to such extent, is making us think twice if we really need to visit the place again or not.
This needs to be focus upon and this is here, the voice raises, and next time, better be extra-cautious to avoid such mishaps. For our team; our SUV is ready again but the nose won’t be pointing towards Ladakh this time. No matter what, we enthusiastic spirits can’t be happy being driven around; especially in a shabby taxi being driven by someone whose skills we can’t completely rely on.
The ordeal faced by the convoy at Ladakh can be found at:
Electrical Engineer by Degree, Automotive at Heart and Biker by Choice.