The Tricity LPG Auto Rickshaw Union affiliated with Janata Dal United (JDU) observed a one-day strike and held a protest rally at Rally Ground, Sector 25, here on Friday.
The union members also burnt an effigy of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to show their anguish over the increase in cost of LPG fuel which has crippled auto rickshaw owners to run their vehicles on LPG.
Union chairman Surinder Bhardwaj, while addressing the rally, condemned the UPA government for the marathon of financial burdens that it was putting on the week shoulders of the common man by way of direct and indirect taxes and increasing prices of essential commodities.
Bhardwaj said the recent steep hike in the LPG fuel prices by the government has come as a big blow and a stern shock to the poor LPG auto-rickshaw owners who are already facing the apathy of Chandigarh administration's inability to phase out illegal plying of diesel auto-rickshaws in the city due to which these owners are facing a big threat to their work and livelihood.
“This increase is an another stroke on their income and has enhanced the running cost of LPG autos manifold without any increase in the fairs due to which they have to face huge loss and thus are unable to survive and meet both ends meet,” he said, adding that it was the Chandigarh administration's decision in 2009 to introduce LPG version of auto-rickshaws and phase out diesel auto-rickshaws under the programme of green revolution on the pretext of clean environment and a green city.
He added, “This is a big environmental issue which also concerns the health of people in the City Beautiful. No proper measures have been taken by the Chandigarh Administration to keep the city pollution free.”
Bhardwaj further demanded an immediate rollback of the enhanced prices of LPG fuel with a suitable subsidy given to all registered LPG auto-rickshaw owners in Chandigarh.
The union also demanded immediate ban on all the unauthorised and illegally plying diesel auto-rickshaws in the city.