Hit by RTO fee hike, auto, taxi drivers to protest on Feb 15

Hit by RTO fee hike, auto, taxi drivers to protest on Feb 15

The All India Road Transport Workers’ Federation has slammed the recent hike in various fees by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and decided to hold a statewide protest on February 15.

At a round table meeting held here on Sunday, which was attended by many unions and associations of the unorganised players in the transport sector, including taxi and autorickshaw drivers, Centre of Indian Trade Unions leader Prakash K said the hike has been done without a regard for common man.

“Foreign Direct Investment in transport sector, such as Uber, has already disrupted lives of people who are dependent on daily earnings. At this time, the RTO has hiked the fee for learners’ licence from Rs 30 to Rs 530, renewal fee from Rs 5,050 to Rs 15,050. Fee hike for all other purposes ranges from 100% to 1,000%. How can common man afford this,” he asked.

Prakash said the hike has come at a time when insurance companies have raised the premium for all vehicles.

“Further, the Centre is planning to introduce the new road transport bill that allows highest bidders to dominate routes. Overall, there seems to be a concerted effort to allow monopoly of big and foreign companies in the transport sector,” he said.

Karnataka Federation of Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Union general secretary Raghavendra said it was impossible for autorickshaw drivers to pay Rs 50 additional fee for each day of delay after expiry of fitness certificate.

“App-based taxis are operating in the city though they do not have city permit. The government should not allow Ola and Uber vehicles with state and national permit to ply in the city,” he said.

HDK backs drivers
Former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy on Sunday said unbridled operations by Ola and Uber companies have led to sufferings for many taxi and autorickshaw drivers in the city, who have been dependent on the job for decades.

“I will hold a meeting with the transport minister and urge him to take immediate steps to address the problems of taxi drivers,” he said.

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