Autorickshaws in Navi Mumbai went off the roads on Tuesday to press for the demand of increase in fare hike. The demand for additional Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) outlets was also on the agenda.
Around 12,000 autorickshaws ply legally in the city with another 6,000 illegal autorickshaws reportedly plying. Following the hike in fuel prices, autorickshaw drivers are demanding a hike in the minimum fare from Rs 11 to Rs 13.
Qasam Mulani, president of Navi Mumbai Rickshaw Mahasangh, a federation of auto unions in the city, said: “The strike was from Airoli to Belapur in Navi Mumbai. All the associations joined in to send a message to the authorities that we mean business.”
“We had initially planned an indefinite strike but the local RTO has informed us that they have forwarded our demand to the concerned authorities,” Mulani said.
“Hence we decided on a day’s strike. Indefinite strike is neither in the interest of the drivers or the commuters.”
The autorickshaw drivers have now decided to wait till August 10. Mulani said, “If we do not see any progress by August 10, we shall sit on an indefinite fast at the Konkan Commissioner’s office in CBD Belapur.”
On the availability of CNG outlets in the city, he said, “We have been asking for an increase in the number of CNG stations as there is just one now.”
Navi Mumbai Deputy RTO Bharat Kalaskar said, “We have already forwarded their demand to the Konkan Commissioner’s office. We are awaiting their reply.”