Chandigarh admn to look into cabbies’ demands, strike called off
The cab drivers had gone on strike on January 30 after STA started challaning vehicles, not registered in Chandigarh, that didn’t have entry fee receipts.Updated: Feb 11, 2020 01:13 IST
Uber and Ola drivers on Monday called off their strike after 11 days following assurance from the UT administration that their demand regarding rationalisation of permit and entry fees across the tricity will be looked into.
Besides, for now, the cab drivers have agreed to pay outstanding entry fee of two quarters — ₹2,000 per taxi — to the UT State Transport Authority (STA) by February 15. UT has allowed them to clear the dues for remaining seven quarters by March 31.
Harvinder Singh, president, Cab Operators’ Social Welfare Association, said, “We have ended the strike after the administration agreed to look into our demands. Most of the cabs have returned to the roads.”
The cab drivers had gone on strike on January 30 after STA started challaning vehicles, not registered in Chandigarh, that didn’t have entry fee receipts.
Earlier, STA had served notices on Uber and Ola, seeking payment of outstanding entry fee dues for the last nine quarters. A fee of ₹1,000 has to be paid per car per quarter, which the cab aggregators paid last only in 2017.
Harjit Singh Sandhu, STA, said, “We have told the cab drivers that no car without an entry fee receipt will be allowed. At the same time, we will be looking into their demands for uniform fees across Mohali, Panchkula and Chandigarh.”
After they called off the strike, Sandhu said, several cab drivers queued up at the STA office to deposit their dues.
HIGH-LEVEL MEETING TODAY
The administration has called a high-level meeting of the transport secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and UT on Tuesday, to discuss a uniform entry fee for cabs across the tricity.
“We hope to introduce a common fee across the tricity to avoid harassment to cab drivers,” Sandhu assured the cab drivers’ association.
Tuesday’s meeting will have rationalisation of the entry fees as the top agenda. The base price (minimum fare for any cab ride) in Mohali, Chandigarh and Panchkula will also be discussed.
“We want a system in place where the cab driver is not harassed and the transport aggregators pay on behalf of all drivers. There should be clarity between these companies and cab drivers as to who pays what,” Sandhu said.
SURGE PRICES CONTINUE
Even though more and more striking cab drivers returned to service on Monday, residents continued to face difficulty in finding cabs and had to pay higher fares.
Since the stir began, riders were forced to shell out exorbitant fares for otherwise reasonably priced rides, as most cabs remained off roads.
Harvinder said, “From Tuesday, riders can expect normal fares and more cabs on the road.”
Meanwhile, Sandhu said, “Cab aggregators cannot charge more than a limit even during surge pricing. We are looking into violations in this regard during the drivers’ strike.”