Protest rally in city by Autorickshaw Drivers’ Co-ordinating Committee over meter rates not raised.

5:42 PM, Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Mangalore: A huge demonstration rally was arranged by the Autorickshaw Drivers’ co-ordination committee seeking meter rates hike and other demands on minimum rate / additional fare / waiting charges / luggage of 40kgs. Weight and above payments, at the DC office gates on Tuesday morning when it rained.

Ivan D’Souza, notary, who heads the city Autos union, in a speech said that meter rates were not raised in the last 2 years when crude oil prices had gone up several times. This situation has crippled Auto movements in city. The RTA officials have not responded to the several pleas from time to time, for a rate rise by auto divers. If by Aug 23, the appeal is not heard for a meter rate hike, the aggrieved Automen will be forced to storm the DC office on Sept 6, to secure their demands, he warned.

Secretary of DK. Dt, Auto Drivers’ Union Prakash Shriyan stated that the stark truth is that no one cares for auto services in cities day or night. Instead of gratitude from the public (who hire autorickshaws only in emergency) we get only taunts and tongue-lashes, he added. Pregnant women bound for maternity hospitals and heavy shoppers (buyers of loaded articles) are served by autodrivers, when they (clients) need them most in difficulties, night or day. Under present circumstances, the minimum fare for the Auto travel (1.5km) should be Rs. 18, with every additional km, charge should be fixed at Rs. 12, he demanded. He wanted Re. one for a minute of waiting for the passenger if the vehicle is hired.

Several Auto rickshaw unions from city, taluk and district participated in the rally. Leaders of these 4 to 6 unions, Ashok Kumar, Shekhar, Vishnu Murthy, Illyas among others read out their separate demand lists at the demonstration.
A memorandum was submitted to the DC Ponnuraj after the show of unity.

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