After holding the city to ransom and inconveniencing thousands, auto-rickshaw driver unions in the city announced the end of their two-day strike on Tuesday afternoon. They will resume normal work from Wednesday. The decision, they said, was taken after they met police and administration officials separately.
“The administration assured us that our demands would be met. We will start working normally from Wednesday,” said Mahavir Singh, president of the Haryana Auto Drivers’ Union.
Satbir Singh, the head of shared auto union also said that the strike had been called off after assurance by authorities.
About 24,000 three-wheelers — 15,000 shared (black) and 9,000 private (green) — were part of the strike call given by the unions.
The drivers, who have been agitating against police action against them, were also seen wielding sticks and assaulting their counterparts who continued ferrying passengers.
The strike inconvenienced thousands of commuters, who had to resort to using app-based cab and bike services. There too, they were forced to pay extra because the services doubled or tripled their rates.
“I travelled from Sushant Lok to Sector 14 in a cab and was charged Rs. 294 which is 2.9 times higher than the normal fare,” said Monika Rawat, a commuter. Another commuter, Karishma Panjwani was charged 2.8 times more than the normal fare by a private cab.
The auto-rickshaw drivers who did not follow the strike also charged exorbitant amounts, cashing in on the unavailability of the common mode of last-mile connectivity in Gurgaon.
“For a journey from Sector 30 to Huda Metro Station that would normally charge Rs. 50, I was charged Rs. 150 by auto driver,” said Vikas Sharma, a private company employee.
The drivers had reportedly been irked with the recent police action against some of them for violating traffic norms. The violations included not possessing documents and commercial licences.
During the eight-day special ‘enforcement drive’ between August 17 and August 24, taken up after the new police commissioner Sandeep Khirwar took office, Gurgaon traffic police impounded 1,828 autos over various violations.