Won’t tolerate vandalism, govt warns protesting Ola, Uber drivers

cities Updated: Feb 16, 2017 23:34 IST

New Delhi: Stalemate over the cab crisis in Delhi-NCR continues as talks between the Delhi government and striking Ola and Uber drivers failed on Thursday.

The government warned of strict action against any violence and asked the protesting drivers to resolve their issues with the companies at the earliest. While transport minister Satyendar Jain didn’t meet the protestors, he deputed member of State Transport Authority (STA) Kailash Gehlot to hold the meeting.

Later, speaking to a few reporters, Jain said, “I would urge the police to take strict action against violent protestors who damaged property. This violence and vandalism on the roads cannot continue. Unless action is taken, its almost like the vandalism is being allowed. No one can be given an opportunity to take the law in their hands. Those who want to protest should then stay home. How can they be roaming on the streets and vandalising cars?”

A section of drivers of the union also threatened of disrupting traffic movement in some parts of the city on Friday after their two leaders, who were on the hunger strike at Jantar Mantar since a week, were admitted to RML Hospital in view of their deteriorating condition.

The shortage of cabs slightly eased on Thursday as cabs were available at a few locations. But the situation remained bad. Users who did find cabs had to pay according to surge pricing which on most occasions was double the usual fare.

Sarvodaya Drivers Association of Delhi (SDAD) vice-president Ravi Rathore, who was admitted to hospital, said that the union’s representatives met Gehlot, but the talks could not reach any conclusion.

“Nothing happened in the meeting. We were asked to resolve our issues with the company. The government didn’t offer any help. As our union president Kamaljeet Singh Gill and I are admitted to RML Hospital, we don’t know what our drivers will do tomorrow. The strike is still on,” Rathore said.

On Thursday, a number of drivers who drove their cars to work complained that the protesting drivers stopped them from doing their job. “They themselves are booking cabs and cancelling using our devices so that we are charged the driver denied duty penalty of R 500,” said Ramesh Khajuria, a driver with Ola.

Another driver said that he got a cab booking and when he reached the location,he found the booking was done by a bunch of goons who manhandled him and sent him back home.

Thousands of drivers are on strike since February 10 in Delhi-NCR demanding an increase in fares from the existing Rs 6 per km and also want the 25% commission the app-based aggregators charge on every booking to be discontinued.

First Published: Feb 16, 2017 23:33 IST