The Mumbai Autorickshaw Men's Union has threatened to go on indefinite strike from June 15 if the state government does not fulfill its demands.
The union, which is led by Sharad Rao, will put forth its demands during a protest rally on May 19, and if the government does not accept them, auto drivers will go on an indefinite strike in June.
There are 95,000 CNG-run autorickshaws and around one lakh rickshaw drivers in the city.
Unhappy with the state transport department’s move to make electronic meters compulsory, various autorickshaw unions came together and put forward their various demands.
“Our main demand is that autorickshaws be allowed to ply in the island city. Currently, rickshaws run only in the western and eastern suburbs,” said Rao, whose union has at least 95,000 autorickshaw drivers as its members.
Transport expert Sudhir Badami said: “It is unjust to not allow autorickshaws to ply in the island city. Even two-wheeler cause congestion.”
On Friday, Rao said the union has decided to oppose electronic meters on the basis of lack of infrastructure in the city to maintain them and because they are expensive.
An electronic meter costs around Rs 13,000, and according to the union, there are no service centres in the city.
“It will be hard to protect the electronic meters during monsoon because they will be placed outside the vehicle," said Rao.
The union has also demanded fare revision. Currently, the minimum fare is Rs 11 for a minimum distance of 1.6km. “In Delhi, the minimum fare is Rs 19 per 2 km. We want the same to be implemented in Mumbai too,” said Rao.