Taxi, auto drivers to go on strike

Commuters need to brace themselves as the autorickshaw and taxi drivers in the Capital have decided to join the all-India strike of government employees, called by Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh on February 28. 

The associations of auto and taxi drivers claim that strike will have severe effects as their several demands have not been met by government agencies for a long time.

Prominent    

“A major demand put forth is to constitute a welfare board which would help family of drivers who meet unfortunate deaths or get injured in road accidents,” said Rajendra Soni, president of Bharatiya Private Transport Mazdoor Mahasangh. 

“The transport minister had given us written assurance on it last year, but the demand has not been met yet,” he said. 

Soni added that such welfare boards exist in other states like Kerala and Rajasthan. He said an amount of the money accrued in lieu of service charge at pre-paid booths could be used for running the welfare fund for the drivers. 
“Rs 10 per trip is charged from the auto and taxi drivers at the pre-paid booths. A part of the fund could be earmarked for the welfare board,” Soni argued. 

He claimed that apart from service charge, the traffic department is also benefited from the unclaimed money of the drivers as they lose the challans issued from the pre-paid booths.

Business at risk

The association’s members said they have submitted memorandums to the transport department and traffic police, informing them about their decision to join the strike. 

The members said radio cabs, which have their counters right outside the exit gates of the railways stations, puts their business at risk.

“A memorandum given to the railways includes the demand to re-designate the location of pre-paid booths of regular taxis and autos at New Delhi, Old Delhi and Nizamuddin railway stations,” said the members. 

The auto and taxi drivers are also demanding upgrade of places in the data of pre-paid booths, inclusion of places in NCR in the databank for taxis and increasing the number of auto and taxi stands in the Capital.

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