Cabbies oppose state guidelines, want strike | india | Hindustan Times
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Cabbies oppose state guidelines, want strike

Transport authorities want taxi drivers to follow certain guidelines in the interest of the passengers. The taxi unions, however, have decided to oppose these and have threatened to go on strike on June 27.

india Updated: Jun 25, 2011 01:10 IST
HT Correspondent

Transport authorities want taxi drivers to follow certain guidelines in the interest of the passengers. The taxi unions, however, have decided to oppose these and have threatened to go on strike on June 27.

The Mumbai Taximen’s Union said they have decided go on strike on Monday as the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) have tightened rules applicable to them in the last three days in addition to turning down their demands. They claim they are tired of the government’s stringent new measures.

Further, the RTOs’ attempts to discipline taxi drivers through punitive measures, hasn’t gone down too well with their union either. RTO inspectors have been levying fines between Rs 200 to Rs 1200 on drivers for flouting new rules such as carrying a photo identity card, sticking no-smoking labels on the windscreen and displaying tariff cards in taxis that have electronic meters. (See box for details).

The union has threatened to strike although the transport department had called for a meeting on June 28 to resolve their issues. “We were not informed about their strike. They should have mentioned their grievances in the proposed meeting on June 28. This is unfair,” said S Sharma, state transport secretary.

The transport department briefed chief minister Prithiviraj Chavan who also holds the transport portfolio, about the likely strike, on Friday.

The union members claim that they had sent a letter to Chavan’s office regarding their demands on June 15. “We wanted to meet the CM to discuss our issues. If they call us before June 27 and discuss our demands, we don’t mind calling off the strike,” said AL Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen’s Union.

Taxi drivers said that their demands to allow any car model to be registered as taxis, to switch on ACs and charge 10% extra and the auctioning of their permits to the fleet cabs have been dismissed by the state government.