No early relief to commuters as Ola, Uber drivers refuse to end strike in Chandigarh
Cab drivers have refused to budge, saying they want cab agencies to pay them adequate remuneration per kilometreUpdated: Feb 05, 2020, 00:51 IST
Despite attempts of the UT administration to give relaxation in the payment of entry tax to drivers of mobile app-based Uber and Ola taxi services, commuters cannot hope for early relief from paying higher taxi rates as these taxi drivers have refused to end their strike till aggregators, Ola and Uber, increased their remuneration.
Holding a meeting with two associations, representing 6,500 Ola and Uber drivers here on Tuesday, UT adviser Manoj Parida offered to give relaxation to drivers to pay the pending entry tax of the current fiscal year in the next one-and-a- half months. Parida said entry tax for first two quarters could be paid by February 15, while the remaining before March-end. He also offered to suspend the challaning drive till March 31. The UT charges entry tax at ₹1,000 per quarter from the vehicles not registered in the UT.
However, cab drivers refused to budge, saying they would not end the strike till managements of the cab agencies agreed to pay them adequate remuneration per km.
Harvinder Singh, president, Cab Operators’ Social Welfare Association, said: “We have nothing against the UT administration as they are cooperating with us. But, the app-based companies are cheating us all. We are paid not more than ₹10 per km whereas they charge a customer as high as ₹40 to 50 per km. Besides, they also want us to bear even the entry tax from our own pocket,” he said
He added, “We are ready to pay government taxes, but not our per km remuneration is increased. We want base remuneration per ride at ₹100 for up to 5 km and ₹15 per km for further ride. We also want basic remuneration of ₹2,000 for outstation ride.”
He said, “We have proof of how these app-based taxi service companies have been fleecing commuters, while paying them peanuts. This will not be tolerated. We request Punjab, Haryana and UT authorities to intervene to resolve the matter,” he added.
CAN’T DO MUCH IN THEIR INTERNAL MATTER: ADMN
Meanwhile, the UT administration has said it could not do much in their internal issue, but ruled out the exemption of cab drivers from entry tax. UT transport secretary Yashpal Garg told HT that the UT had the lowest entry tax in the region. He said while Punjab charged ₹240 per day as entry tax, Haryana’s rate was ₹40 per day. On the other hand, the UT charges ₹11 per day. He said cab drivers had assured us that they would return to work after the UT allowed them to pay their pending dues in parts over the next 50 days.
According to a press release, the UT will hold a special drive from April 1 and penalise the defaulters for non-payment, if dues are not cleared before March 31.
PROTEST ENTERS SIXTH DAY, COMMUTERS HARASSED
Meanwhile, the taxi drivers’ protest at the Dussehra ground in Phase-8 of Mohali entered its sixth day on Tuesday. The protest has been causing harassed to commuters as they are being forced to pay higher charges for rides due to limited availability of vehicles.
A resident of Sector 80 in Mohali Dolly Mehendru complained that a taxi ride from her residence to Sector 44 cost her ₹230, more than double of the normal rate.