Auto-rickshaws and taxis are likely to stay off the roads soon to protest the rise in prices of compressed natural gas (CNG).
Unions of auto-rickshaw drivers will hold a rally at Jantar Mantar on Friday as part of their protests. A date for their strike will be announced on the same day. Members of the unions claimed that their calls to the Delhi government to roll back the rise in CNG prices or jack up fares had fallen on deaf ears.
“We will go on strike if there is no rollback. We could also be forced to increase fares,” Rajendra Soni, president of the Bharat Auto-rickshaw Chaalak Sangh, threatened.
“The government has been increasing CNG prices every two months and this is not acceptable. We will stage a dharna at Jantar Mantar tomorrow and announce the date of strikes,” Soni said.
The unions added that they had tried to meet the transport minister and commissioner, but without success.
The unions also claimed that despite the Supreme Court order directing the transport department to issue 45,000 permits to run new auto-rickshaws in the city, the Delhi government was still to act.
“Even after three months, the Delhi government has not issued any new permits to auto-rickshaws. The Delhi government had also announced that a welfare board will be set up to look into the problems of drivers but nothing has been done. Both auto-rickshaws and taxis will not participate in the strike,” added Soni.
The unions alleged that the government had been deliberately not issuing permits as its officials were in connivance with the financier mafia.
Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) had hiked CNG prices by R2.90 per kg in Delhi to R38.35 per kg on July 6.