Autos to keep off road today

Banks and factories may remain closed

Normal life in the City is likely to be thrown out of gear on Tuesday, as a majority of the 1.25 lakh autorickshaws may keep off the road as part of an all-India trade union strike. Business activities may also be disrupted with banks and factories expected to remain closed for a day.

The Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Union (ARDU), Adarsha Auto Drivers’ Union and three other unions have come together for Tuesday’s strike.

VJK Nair, state president of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, which has called for the nationwide strike, expects “a good support for our cause here.”

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Meenakshi Sundaram, president, Autorickshaw Drivers’ Organisations United Struggle Committee and ARDU, said: “We are not ready to concede. The governments are interested only in saving Kingfisher from collapsing or are trying to solve the family problem of the Ambanis. It’s time they bothered about workers also.”

The automen have demanded, among other things, a hike in fare. The unions had held talks with Deputy Commissioner M K Aiyappa earlier this week demanding an upward revision in the minimum fare to Rs 24 and Rs 9 for every subsequent kilometre in Bangalore. Now, the minimum fare in the City is Rs 17 and Rs 9 for every kilometre thereafter.

Criticising the government for not having enrolled any unorganised worker into the Karnataka Unorganised Sector Workers’ Welfare Board, constituted about two years ago, they said that the government “is not at all concerned about the workers.” Sundaram also said that there should also be a subsidy for LPG, diesel and petrol prices.

Their other demands include houses, BPL ration cards and a reduction in insurance premium. They have also sought an increase in accident relief from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000.

Taxis and BMTC buses will operate services to and from Bangalore International Airport (BIA). According to BMTC officials, there will be shuttle services to all railway stations, satellite bus stands and BIA, depending on the load factor.

“We already have buses plying from Majestic to BIA every 15 minutes. If need be, more buses will be pressed into service,” said a BMTC official.

Similarly, the BMTC officials stationed at the airport have been asked to increase the number of buses on all the major routes.  BMTC already has at its disposal 200 spare buses.

I PUC, RGUHS exams postponed

Anticipating transport problems for students, examinations scheduled for Tuesday by the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences and the first PUC examinations conducted at the district level have been postponed, DHNS reports from Bangalore. The future date of examination for history, electronics and computer science papers will be decided in accordance with the timetable and schedule of every district. However, the examinations scheduled for Thursday will be held as planned.

The RGUHS has postponed Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPT), Bachelor of Pharmacy (B Pharma), paramedical, and allied science examinations scheduled for Tuesday. The new exam dates will be announced later, RGUHS Registrar (Evaluation), N S Ashok Kumar, added.

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