Social activist Anna Hazare’s crusade for a strong lokpal bill has found a support in the form of black and yellow taxis in the city. The Mumbai Taximen’s Union, comprising over 30,000 taxis, has agreed to extend their support to Hazare’s cause on August 16, the day the social activist will begin his fast in Delhi. Consequently, there could be few or even no taxis on the roads on August 16.
The union’s decision came after a meeting with Hazare’s team in Mumbai. “We will be supporting the movement. The further course of action will be decided in a couple of days,” said A Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen’s Union.
The union’s proposal is to either keep all taxis off the roads or ply less number of taxis on August 16. This proposed protest could go on for a day, or more depending on the decision taken by the union at its internal meeting. The taxi drivers may sport bands or paste stickers in their vehicles in support of the movement.
According to the union members, on several occasions, the drivers are forced to pay bribe to the RTO officials and traffic policemen. That drives some of them to tamper with their meters. “We are grappling with corruption and hence want to be a part of the movement,” said another member of the taxi union.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai chapter of India Against Corruption claimed that till July 26, nearly 44,000 people had shown interest in joining the protest from August 16. “When we approached the taxi union, they agreed to join our movement,” said Mayank Gandhi, campaign coordinator in Mumbai.