Strike after fare hike not justified, say activists
The activists feel that the hike and the strike are both unjustified and the state government has shown its political immaturity by giving in to the pressure tactics of Sharad Rao-led Mumbai Autorickshawmen's union.mumbai Updated: Apr 16, 2012 01:16 IST
The Re1 fare hike for minimum auto travel is nothing but buckling under the pressure of unions, said city transport activists.
The activists feel that the hike and the strike are both unjustified and the state government has shown its political immaturity by giving in to the pressure tactics of Sharad Rao-led Mumbai Autorickshawmen's union.
"The state government should have asked the union to withdraw the strike before announcing the hike. Despite paying more, the commuters will have to face inconvenience for one day," said Shirish Deshpande, chairperson, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.
The activist claimed that going by the existing formulae, the auto men should only get a 50paise hike.
"While only 50paise hike was due, the government ended up giving them an interim hike of Re1. They also gave them an assurance of appointing a trade committee to develop a formula to decide the future fare hike. This is nothing but exploitation of commuters," he said.
Activists also demanded stricter laws to put an end to blackmailing tactics by union leaders.
"The state government should cover taxi and autorickshaws under the essential services act. The government is not taking any steps towards helping the tax payers. Instead, it is increasing their burden with repeated fare hikes," said Sunil Mone, transport activist.
Commuters, too, echoed activists' sentiments.
"Why do we need a strike in the city to support automen from other districts? The unions should go to those districts to show their support," said Rupesh Mehta, a businessman from Kurla.
Transport commissioner VN More said, "The unions should have avoided the one-day strike since all their demands have been met."