Taxi drivers to protest against Uber, Ola

Several autorickshaw and taxi drivers’ unions have come together to stage a massive protest against app-based taxi aggregators in front of the transport commissioner’s office on Wednesday, the day Ola and Uber representatives are set to hold a meeting with their protesting drivers.

“We have been urging the officials to ensure that Ola and Uber follow the rule on taxi fares. The government has fixed Rs 14.50 per km for small and Rs 19.50 per km for sedans. But the app-based companies charge Rs 6 per km, which has led to denial of minimum earnings for city taxi drivers,” said CITU state vice-president Prakash K.

He said the Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Union (ARDU) submitted several memoranda to the officials which have all been ignored. “We have estimated that about 5,000 people will participate in this peaceful protest. We will make another presentation to the officials,” he added.

ARDU general secretary Rudramurthy said besides issues related to app-based taxis, they will also protest against the regional transport office’s decision to hike various licence fees. “Fees for many services have gone up by 10 times. How can an auto driver afford to pay so much,” he asked. Meanwhile, Ola and Uber drivers will meet their company representatives on the same day to sort out issues related to “high earning targets” and “drastic reduction in incentives”.

Services may be hit tomorrow
Those depending on Ola and Uber to commute in the city may experience inconvenience on Wednesday as a union of drivers attached to the app-based taxi aggregators have decided to join the protest. “The companies have managed to repeatedly extend deadlines set by the transport department to settle issues of drivers. We have decided to join auto drivers. There will be no operations from drivers attached to our union,” said Tanveer Pasha of the OTU Drivers’ and Owners’ Union.

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