People who depend on auto-rickshaws for their daily commute are going to have a tough time as the auto rickshaw drivers in Mumbai have threatened to go on an indefinite strike starting from midnight of Monday. As many as 2.2 lakh rickshaws will remain off the roads in the city of Mumbai even as the strike is likely to spread to other parts of the state of Maharashtra in support of the demands regarding fare hike. As per latest reports, a total of 20 lakh auto drivers are expected to participate in the strike.
Nearly 350 different associations across the state of Maharashtra have come together under the Auto rickshaw Chalak Malak Sanghatna Sanyukta Kruti Samiti Maharashtra and have called for a statewide strike. General Secretary of the Kruti Samiti, Shashank Rao, who is also the union leader of the largest rickshaw association, has demanded the government to increase the fares based on the recommendations of the Hakim Committee, as against the Khatua Committee, The Times of India reported.
As per reports, the unions want the government to freeze the process of issuing permits for auto-rickshaws, adding that their numbers (permits) have doubled. "In Mumbai alone in the past one year, the number of auto rickshaws has increased from one lakh to two lakhs", the daily quoted Rao as saying.
Rao went on to say that many autos and buses have been operating illegally adding that they are eating into their business. "There should be one team formed in each city across Maharashtra to crack down on vehicles operating illegally", said Rao.
(Edited by: Nehal Solanki)