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Auto strike tests people's patience

If autorickshaws are an integral part of your daily routine you have a reason to rejoice.

delhi Updated: May 20, 2011 23:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

If autorickshaws are an integral part of your daily routine you have a reason to rejoice.

The autorickshaw strike, which crippled almost half of Delhi on Friday, is finally over. The union that went on strike called it off after the state transport department agreed to talk to the central government and Municipal Corporation of Delhi to revoke increase in vehicle insurance price and toll tax, respectively.

"The transport minister has also assured us that a welfare board for autorickshaw drivers would be set up and we would get subsidy on GPS device to poor drivers who have just one autorickshaw," Bhartiya Private Transport Mazdoor Mahasangh president Rajendra Soni said.

The strike, while it lasted, had severe impact in some parts of the Capital with almost half of Delhi's 55,000 auto-rickshaws remaining off road on Friday.

The problem was severe in areas like Old Delhi and New Delhi railways stations and inter-state bus terminals at Kashmere Gate and Anand Vihar, where thousands of passengers come every day.

Dhaula Kuan, Greater Kailash, Ashram, Safdurnjung Enclave, Mayur Vihar and Lakshmi Nagar were some other areas where commuters had a harrowing time finding an auto.

"I had a tough time getting an auto at New Delhi railway station. One or two auto-rickshaws that came were also demanding double the fare," said Prabhu Ram Singh, an industrial worker who reached the railways station with his family this morning.

With autos on strike, the pressure on buses and metro increased.

According to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials, 12.9 lakh people had travelled by metro till 8pm on Friday in comparison to 12.7 lakh last Friday. The autorickshaw unions had called the strike against government's decision to charge Rs 7,500 to install GPS in each vehicle.

First Published: May 20, 2011 23:38 IST