Delhi transport strike: Protesters stop cabs, autos, force passengers out
Commuters in Delhi-NCR faced a harrowing time on Thursday as autorickshaws, private cabs and buses remained off roads in a protest against the new Motor Vehicles Act that came into effect on September 1 with provisions of hefty fines against those violating norms. Autos and cabs were stopped at several places and passengers forced to deboard during the strike.
The protest has been called by the United Front of Transport Associations (UFTA), which is an umbrella body representing 41 associations and unions of goods and passenger segments, including trucks, buses, autos, tempos, maxi-cabs and taxis plying in the Delhi-NCR region.
Delhi traffic police said that the protest turned violent in several parts of the city, with demonstrators stopping autorickshaws and cabs and pulling passengers out.
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Around 10.30am, a cab was reportedly vandalised near East Delhi’s Akshardham metro station, after the driver was found picking up passengers on the Delhi-Meerut expressway.
“Near Subzi Mandi police station, we had to drop six school students to their houses after their driver was pulled out of the vehicle. We have detained the mob and the driver of the cab and the children have been handed over to their parents,” said a senior traffic police official.
UFTA general secretary Shyamlal Gola, however, claimed that all protesters have been asked to maintain peace during the strike.
Many parents complained of school buses being suddenly pulled out in the afternoon. Though in the morning many private services were plying to drop children to schools, by afternoon these vehicle owners were also forced to join the strike.
At the New Delhi Railway Station and at Anand Vihar bus terminal too passengers faced a tough time getting a mode of transportation. At the New Delhi Railway Station, auto drivers blocked two exit gates from the station, preventing any drivers from ferrying passengers.
Reports of commuters’ having a harrowing time were also received from Noida and Faridabad in the National Capital Region.