Despite call for strike, autos seen plying

Auto-rickshaw unions’ march to L-G office stopped, but officials assure quick redressal of meter issue.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: May 6, 2014 1:01:08 am
Striking auto-rickshaw drivers on Monday. (Ravi Kanojia) Striking auto-rickshaw drivers on Monday. (Ravi Kanojia)

Despite a call for strike to protest the government’s order making GPS-enabled meters compulsory for auto-rickshaws, most auto-rickshaws were seen plying in the capital on Monday.

However, members of some auto-rickshaw unions attempted to march to the Lt-Governor’s office, but were stopped by police.
According to the unions, a meeting was held with officials from the Lt-Governor’s office and they were assured speedy redressal of their problems.

The call for a strike on Monday came after the Delhi government issued an order on April 30 making GPS-enabled meters mandatory for auto-rickshaws to be issued a fitness certificate. A fitness certificate is required by commercial vehicles such as auto-rickshaws and taxis to ply on Delhi roads.

However, commuters said some auto-rickshaws drivers tried to overcharge even though there was no strike. “While autos were plying on Monday, they were not ready to travel to certain areas because of the strike and those ready to go, were overcharging,’’ Garima, who took a bus from Malviya Nagar to ITO, said.

Meanwhile, Kishan Verma, president of All Delhi Auto Taxi Transporters Congress Union, said, “We had a meeting with an official from the Lt-Governor’s office. We were told that the issue related to GPS meters would be resolved within the next two days. We are not against installation of GPS meters but GPS devices are very expensive. We have been assured that they would be provided at a cheaper price.’’
According to officials of the Lt-Governor’s office, the representations of the auto-rickshaw unions have been forwarded to the Transport commissioner by the Lt-Governor.

The unions have also been demanding a policy to replace old auto-rickshaws. “We want a policy to replace old vehicles which are more than 15 years old. The government has been accepting files for replacing such vehicles but has done nothing more. This matter will also be sorted out in the coming days,’’ Rajinder Soni, from Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, said.

The Transport department is likely to hold a meeting to discuss this matter on Tuesday, officials said.

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