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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

Bangalore: Taxi strike against toll hike starts today

Agencies  Bangalore, May 09, 2014
First Published: 09:30 IST(9/5/2014) | Last Updated: 10:54 IST(9/5/2014)

Private taxi drivers and lorry owners in Karnataka are likely to go on an indefinite strike from Friday demanding a rollback of the four-fold hike on the expressway to the Bangalore international airport.

More than seven lakh commercial vehicles - including taxis and trucks - may join the strike.

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had increased the toll last week.

After the hike, Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) will now have to pay Rs. 75 instead of Rs. 20 for a single entry and vehicles on a return trip will now have to pay Rs. 115 instead of Rs. 30.

All India Motor Transport Congress Toll Committee (AIMTC) on Thursday met Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah putting forth their demands.

Siddaramaiah said the state government will approach the Centre to seek a solution to the crisis.

"I requested Mr Oscar Fernandes (Union minister for road transport and highways) to take up a meeting and see if there is some consensus," Siddaramaiah told CNN-IBN.

"Until the chief minister gives us an assurance, we will not call off the strike. The toll hike puts a strain on taxi drivers. If we pay so much for the toll, what will the drivers eat? We're ready to pay the toll price. But this looting must be stopped," said AIMTC Toll Committee chairman GR Shanmugappa.

The toll hike by NHAI also triggered protests by the Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal (Secular) and various other groups. Commuters too have complained about the steep hike.

Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda too staged a sit-in protest near the toll gate.

Siddaramaiah has said local people would be exempted from paying the toll.


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