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Taxi operators extend support to bus strike, to go off road from today

Thousands of taxi operators will go on strike from Tuesday in support of the ongoing agitation by the private bus operators in the Kumaon region, who are on an indefinite strike for the last 11 days

dehradun Updated: Jul 30, 2018 23:06 IST
Neeraj Santoshi
Neeraj Santoshi
Hindustan Times, Nainital
Bus strike,Taxi strike,Uttarakhand Bus
Cabs at taxi stand by Rispana river in Dehradun. (Vinay Santosh KumarHT Photo)

Thousands of taxi operators will go on strike from Tuesday in support of the ongoing agitation by the private bus operators in the Kumaon region, who are on an indefinite strike for the last 11 days.

Shankar Singh Thakur, president Taxi Mahasangh Kumaon, a conglomerate of 44 taxi unions, said they met the leaders of the Kumaon Motor Owners Union Ltd on Sunday and decided to extend support to their stir.

“What is wrong in demanding passenger fare at par with those charged by the state roadways buses? This is a genuine demand and nearly 15000 taxis in Kumaon will go on strike from Tuesday to extend support to the agitation of the private bus operators,” he said.

The private bus operators in Kumaon region are demanding hike in the passenger fares at par with the fare charged by the buses of Uttarakhand Transport Corporation.

Surendra Singh Duseela, president Kumaon Motor Owners Union Ltd said nearly 1000 private bus operators of Kumaon region were on strike for last 11 days.

“On Sunday we met state transport minister Yashpal Arya, who assured us that government will increase passenger fare of private buses by 15 %. This is not acceptable to us. Why this double standard? We are demanding bus fare at par with those charged by the state roadways buses. Also, we are demanding that the speed governors be installed on the buses on the basis of the Supreme Court guidelines. The apex court has said that speed governors be installed on buses which are plying on roads after 2015,” he said.

“We have two main demands. First, we want a hike in the passenger fare. We are charging 95paise for every kilometre, while the Uttarakhand Transport Corporation buses charge Rs 1.72 for every kilometre. Second, we are at the receiving end due to the tough stand of the traffic police, which keeps penalising us on over one issue or other,” he said.

Neeraj Joshi, president Nainital Taxi Operators Association said they also want the state government to consider some of their demands.

“We want all taxi operators from whole of the Uttarakhand to be allowed to enter Nainital. The private buses should be allowed to enter Nainital for the convenience of the tourists. Also, we want the speed governors to be installed according to the guidelines of the Supreme Court,” he said.

The strike will hit the tourism sector as taxis are mostly hired for the local sightseeing in the hilly state. Many people reach Kumaon in buses and then hire the local taxis for sightseeing. The taxi operators have however said the vehicles ferrying school children will continue to do so even during the strike.

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First Published: Jul 30, 2018 23:06 IST