Auto strike called off, union says transport dept accepted demands
Regional transport officer said transport commissioner will look into the demandsnoida Updated: Oct 06, 2015 01:33 IST
The autorickshaw union on Monday evening decided to call off their strike after the intervention of transport department officials.
“We have decided to call off the strike as the transport department has accepted our demands,” said Dilshad Ahmed, president of the Autorickshaw Chalak Sangh.
On the other hand, regional transport officer Mayank Jyoti said the demands could not be accepted at the local level and will be looked into by the transport commissioner in Lucknow.
“We have forwarded their list of demands to the transport commissioner, who will take the final call. The decision to roll back or make amendments in the government orders cannot be taken at the local level. But, we have looked into their demands and are trying to find a solution,” Jyoti said.
However, as the autorickshaw strike continued till evening, commuters were left stranded. Office-goers and college students had a harrowing time reaching their destinations.
This is the second time, since September 21, that autorickshaw drivers have declared an indefinite strike. The first strike was withdrawn after the Ghaziabad district magistrate (DM) had assured that issues they were striking work for would be resolved within three days.
However, with no resolution in sight till Monday morning, autorickshaw drivers called a second strike on Sunday. The drivers also staged a protest march at the old bus stand and different city areas.
The scenario on Monday remained similar to that on Sunday with commuters forced to hunt for alternative modes of transport to reach their destinations. Many were left distressed trying to board overcrowded buses or negotiating with rickshaw pullers who charged exorbitant rates.“I am dependent on autorickshaws for travel since I live quite far and autorickshaws are the only mode of transport for me to reach the Mohan Nagar bus stop,” said Surbhi Gupta, a resident of Shiv Shakti Vihar.
However, at some locations across the city, auto drivers were seen ferrying commuters, for a higher price, till 9am in the morning and then stopped plying till 12 noon, after which they resumed ferrying commuters. “We are poor and we have to earn our daily wages and cannot halt our services for the whole day. From 9am to 12 noon, the union people were very active and were stopping autorickshaws that were ferrying passengers. So, we did not ply during those hours,” said Dhani Singh, an auto driver at the Vaishali Metro station.
Shared autorickshaws, which generally charge `10 or `15 from the designated auto stand to Mohan Nagar or the Vaishali Metro station, were now charging between `30 and `40 per passenger. “We are plying only on internal roads since we can’t afford to be seen by the union members. I am afraid that they might damage my vehicle,” Singh said.