Despite a few transport unions calling for a statewide strike on Tuesday, its repercussions in Mumbai are likely to remain negligible. The protesters are demanding a rollback of the fee hiked by regional transport office (RTO) prescribed in the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR).
The centre had hiked various RTO fees after amending the CMVR in December 2016. Aggrieved by this hike, a section of transporters and RTO agents, mainly from the Pune and other parts of the state, demanded a rollback and called for a strike.
However, the state government has chalked out a plan in case transporters do go on a strike. It has issued notification, allowing private vehicles to ferry passengers and ensure uninterrupted supply of essentials such as milk, vegetables and medicines, among others.
To prevent the strike, a meeting between transport authorities and unions was called at the transport commissioner office. However, transporters claimed that the meeting conducted by additional transport commissioner Satish Sahastrabuddhe was a lame effort to prevent them for going on a strike.
Mumbaiites, however, need not to worry as taxi, auto-rickshaw unions and school bus operators have already announced that they would be staying away from Tuesday’s strike. Even the Maharashtra Rajya Truck, Tempo, Tankers, Bus Vahatuk Mahasangh, one of the biggest unions, has kept participation of its members voluntarily. The decision was taken following a three-hour meet in Navi Mumbai.
Prasanna Patwardhan, Mahasangh president, said the decision was taken as the centre is in process of calling a meeting of transporters across the state next week to discuss the hike. “We have appealed to our members to participate in the strike, only if their prior commitments permit,” he said.
Malik Patel, leader of Mumbai Bus Malak Sanghatana, said they have decided to give the government 15 days, starting Wednesday, to resolve the issue. “If the hike isn’t reversed, we will go on an indefinite strike. And this one will include participation from school and private bus operators,” he said.