Indore’s 20,000 auto-rickshaw drivers kept off the road on Tuesday demanding a ban on app-based ride hailing services for auto-rickshaws.
The striking drivers said the fares charged by the service providers such as Uber, Ola and Jugnoo violated the rules and regulations of the Regional Transport Office. The ride-hailing giants’ apps let people summon a auto-rickshaw for immediate booking without the hassles of convincing a driver to agree to go to your destination or go by the meter. The erosion of bargaining power has riled many a driver.
“They are trying to cheat the customers as first of all they have different rates for different timings. Also there is something called waiting charge which is against the rules,” said Rajesh Bidkar, a union leader of auto-rickshaw drivers. A number of office-goers, travellers coming from other districts and around 2.5 lakh school-going children were affected by the strike. “Both of us are working and it is not possible to pick up and drop my child to school between office hours, so we decided not to send her to school,” said Shilpa Singh, a media professional.
The basic fare and per-kilometre charge is less compared to non-app autos.
Basic fare for normal auto-rickshaws is Rs15 for the first kilometre and Rs 12 for the next kilometre. When hailed through apps, the basic fare is around Rs 10 for the first kilometre and Rs 3 for the next kilometre.
“It is much more convenient to use an application-based autorickshaw as there is no hassle of bargaining . Everything is metered unlike the auto-rickshaw drivers on the street who refuse to ply by the meter and charge according to their whims and fancies,” said Juli Dhakar, a software engineer.