Cabbies in no mood to end protest

Cabbies in no mood to end protest

The ongoing strike by drivers, associated with the app-based cab aggergators Ola and Uber, is unlikely to end in the next two days.

“We have decided to continue the strike till Monday. The company has refused to consider our demands, the government says it can't intervene. We will take to the streets if no one comes forward to help us,” said the leader of a drivers’ association. Commuters, who found comfort in the app-based cabs were, however, put to hardship. Pranesh Acharya said he booked a cab on both platforms but no one came. “I needed to reach Yeshwantpur Railway Station. I have rarely taken an autorickshaw. Today, I had no other option,” he said.

Many complained about auto drivers asking for more money. One commuter sent a complaint to Additional Police Commissioner (Traffic) on twitter. Raghunath A S posted: “For a ride to HCG Hospital for my cancer's check up, these 2-Auto fellows refused to operate on Meter at Horamavu Main Road @AddlCPTraffic.”

Autorickshaw Drivers’ Union general secretary Rudramurthy said, “The strike has definitely helped. Many auto drivers do not go home empty-handed now. But some greedy people are maligning the image of auto drivers,” he said.

The Ola kiosk at the Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Railway station was almost empty. Drivers had parked the cars on roadside. “Those who tried to work without participating in the strike have been assaulted. I came assuming that the strike would end today. I can’t take the risk,” said a driver at the railway station. 

On Church Street, Mahesh Kumar, a partygoer, said he had plans to hangout with friends till late night but ended the party early as he had to depend on others to reach home.

Divya Jain, accompanied by two of her friends, said they decided to buy alcohol and continue the party at her house. “The other cabs are too costly. Four more friends are coming to my house. We can party there safely,” she said. Drivers had plans to stage protest at Freedom Park on Sunday but postponed it after the city police refused permission. “The BBMP approved our request to protest but police said they were apprehensive of the agitation turning violent and rejected our application,” convener of a drivers’ union, on the condition of anonymity, said.

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