A strike called by over a dozen transport unions on Tuesday, did not have much impact in the morning rush hours as most drivers of cab aggregators Ola and Uber chose to defy the protest this time.
Unlike their two-week long protest in February which affected thousands of commuters, office goers didn’t have to suffer much on Tuesday morning as cabs on mobile apps were mostly available in the morning peak hours.
Some cab drivers HT spoke to said they will join the protest around noon after working in the first half, while others said they had no time to join the protest. “Two of my friends who are drivers will be joining the protest. They are on duty now. I am not going as I need money to eat and pay for my daughter’s school fees,” said Ahmed Ali, a driver with Ola.
For the commuters, it was a lucky day as getting a cab hasn’t really been a problem so far. “I was aware of the strike and had a back up plan as well. But, I just tried to book a cab through Ola once and I got it. So I reached office in a cab like I usually do,” said Rakesh Mehra, an IT professional who travelled to Gurgaon from Vasant Kunj.
However, the number of cabs on the road could go down as the day progresses because the protest march planned by these unions begins only 11am onwards. The unions are going to start their march from Majnu Ka Tila Gurudwara and will go up to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s house.
“Unlike last time, we have not asked drivers to not work. They are free to take bookings and when they take a break, they can join the protest. In the previous strike they faced a lot of losses as they didn’t work for almost two weeks,” said Kamaljeet Gill, president of Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi.