Autorickshaw strike continue for Second day

10:22 AM, Thursday, January 29th, 2015

autorickshaw strike Mangaluru : The 24-hour autorickshaw strike that began here from Tuesday midnight, protesting against the fare reduction by the Regional Transport Authority, was total with all three-wheelers remaining off the roads.

The unions have decided to continue the strike for one more day in light of the failure of talks with the authority on Wednesday.

Passengers, who came to the city early in the morning by trains and buses, were caught unaware and had to struggle to reach their destinations. While some managed to get taxis, some others made it through buses and vehicles of friends and relatives and many were forced to walk an extra mile. The situation was worse at Mangalore Junction Railway Station where autorickshaws are the sole mode of public transport.

Meanwhile, the district administration and the Transport Department have reportedly urged taxi operators to make local trips from railway stations to help the passengers. Many taxi operators thus offered their services to passengers who were affected by the strike.

Michael D’Souza, leader of an autorickshaw drivers’ union who was present at the protest meeting at Mangalore Central, said that if the RTA did not withdraw its fare revision order, the unions would go ahead with the strike.

While increasing the fares in December, 2012, the RTA waited for over two months after the demand was made and enhanced the fares following fare revision in Bengaluru, he said.

General Secretary of CITU-backed autorickshaw drivers’ Union Mohammed Ansar told The Hindu that the strike would continue on Thursday too and operators are planning to stage a black-flag demonstration in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in the evening if the RTA does not withdraw the notification.

The Dakshina Kannada Regional Transport Authority on Wednesday warned autorickshaw drivers of legal action if they did not follow the January 9 notification that reduced the fares.

In a release, RTA Member-Secretary and Regional Transport Officer Afzal Ahmed Khan said that a meeting to persuade operators to reduce the fares on Wednesday did not yield any result. Hence, the Transport Department and the police would initiate stringent action against operators who refuse to follow the notification, he warned.

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