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Holding city to ransom

delhi Updated: Aug 18, 2009 23:35 IST
Atul Mathur
Atul Mathur
Hindustan Times
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Even as auto-rickshaw unions called off their two-day strike late on Tuesday, the Delhi government is in no mood to relent.

In an emergency meeting of senior transport officials, Delhi transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely devised a strategy to deal with the "illogical demands" of auto-rickshaw unions and their threats for more strikes in future.

"We have formed 25 additional enforcement teams to check notorious auto-rickshaws. We will impound vehicles and cancel permits of auto-rickshaws who refuse passengers or over-charge or any auto-rickshaw threatening to strike work," Lovely said.

"There are 2,300 applicants in queue for auto permits. We will give permits to them rather than to those who try and harass passengers," he added.

He said these teams would be stationed at prominent locations like railway stations, inter-state bus terminals and hospitals and would keep an eye on auto movement.

To tackle any such strike in future, Lovely said school cabs and radio taxis would be roped in and would be allowed to pick passengers.

"We spoke to the radio taxi operators and school cabs associations today and they offered us help. Had the auto rickshaw unions gone ahead with their strike, we would have used radio taxis and school cabs," said Lovely.

The minister said a meeting of commissioner transport and joint commissioner of police (traffic) has been convened to devise a long-term strategy to check auto-rickshaw menace.

Senior transport officials, meanwhile, said the helpline service (No. 40400400) would be revived within three days to register complaints against auto-rickshaws overcharging or harassing passengers.

Bharatiya Tipahiya Chalak Sangh president Sobran Singh Rajput said their protest was not meant to harass public but to fight against the government's policies.

“The two-day strike is meant to pressurise the authorities to understand our problems,” he added.