Pressing for a hike in fares and installation of global positioning system at subsidised rates, a large number of auto-rickshaws and taxis remained off the road on Tuesday.
Though several auto-rickshaw and taxi unions did not participate in the strike, the absence of three-wheelers was felt on city roads.
Taking advantage of fewer auto-rickshaws plying on roads, other auto drivers over-charged and harassed passengers as usual.
Commuters also had a tough time finding auto-rickshaws throughout the day in areas such as Old Delhi, New Delhi, Sarai Rohilla and Nizamuddin railway stations, inter-state bus terminals at Kashmere Gate and Sarai Kale Khan and various south and west Delhi colonies such as Sarita Vihar, CR Park, Kalkaji, Greater Kailash, Hauz Khas and Karol Bagh.
“There was not even a single auto-rickshaw at the New Delhi railway station when I reached around 7am. I had to call a neighbour and request him to pick me up from the station,” said Tribhuvan Mishra, who was coming back from Varanasi with his wife and two children.
City’s office goers, who depend on auto-rickshaws for their daily ride to office and back, also faced difficulty in getting an auto-rickshaw in the morning. DTC buses failed to serve as an alternative as most buses were overcrowded.
“I paid Rs. 200 to reach my Connaught Place office from CR Park instead of the usual Rs. 90,” complained Tripti Das, an HR executive. “But I had no problem finding an auto-rickshaw to go back home in the evening,” she added.
Many commuters said the situation eased in the evening, as most auto-rickshaws were back on the road.
Delhi transport minister Ramakant Goswami, however, said the strike had “no impact on normal life” in the city.
“The traffic on the roads looked normal like other days as there was no disruption. No untoward incident was reported from any part of the city,” Goswami said.
The minister said adequate number of buses was available to ensure passengers faced no difficulty in commuting. “The DTC had taken all steps to cater to the transport needs of the people due to the apprehension of a strike. About 5,000 buses were deployed and senior officers kept an eye on the situation,” he added.