Almost all autorickshaws in Mumbai’s suburbs are likely to go off the road today, as a city union, representing 85% drivers, has announced a strike to protest the hefty rise in permit fee and is demanding restrictions on app-based taxis.
Mumbai’s suburbs has more than one lakh autorickshaws, of which 83,000 are members of the Mumbai Autorickshawmens Taximens Union (MATU), which has given the call.
Although other unions have said they will not participate in the strike, the drivers may still stay off the road to avoid damage to their vehicles.
The union has not even paid heed to an appeal by the state government that invited them for discussion.
Transport minister Diwakar Raote had called Shashank Rao, the union leader, but it is learnt that Rao refused to go for the meeting. He claimed it was too late, as the government did not act on their demands since January 19, when they first made the representation.
“As announced earlier, our delegation will try to meet transport minister on Monday. We will not protest if the government fulfils our demand, otherwise we will intensify our agitation from next week,” Rao said. He said more than a lakh autos will stay off the roads.