Brace for a rough ride, Mumbai auto drivers on strike today

Mumbai Autorickshawmen Union’s Shashank Rao said that they were going for a “complete strike on Monday” after protests, including the one on January 19, had fallen on deaf ears.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: February 15, 2016 9:36 am
auto-rickshaw, maharashtra government, mumbai metropolitan region, MMR, auto-rickshaw GPS, mumbai news, indian express Autorickshaw drivers take rest during the strike in Mumbai. (Source: File/Express Photo by Pradip Das)

In what may come as an embarrassment for the state government with its Make in Maharashtra event lined up at BKC on Monday, auto drivers have planned to go on a strike to protest against cab aggregators and illegal buses in the city as well as raised fares for issuing auto permits. The strike will likely impact suburban Mumbai.

Mumbai Autorickshawmen Union’s Shashank Rao said that they were going for a “complete strike on Monday” after protests, including the one on January 19, had fallen on deaf ears. “The cab aggregators and illegal busses are affecting our business. The government has also raised the cost of permits to Rs 15,000. Even renewal of permits has become so expensive. Since our protests have fallen on deaf ears, we will go on a strike.”

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Acknowledging the strike might cause embarrassment to the administration, Rao said, “The administration is responsible. It is not like we are waking up at the last moment and making demands. These demands have been on for the past several months. However, no action has been taken by the state.” He added that if the state did not act now, several protests would take place.

Nitesh Rane, who heads the Swabhimaan Auto Union, said that they would not ask auto drivers to go off the roads aggressively, but would back the protest as the issue impacted all auto drivers.

K K Tiwari, head of the Swabhimaan Sanghatana Union, said that they supported the strike as the issues had been originally raised by them.

Meanwhile, the state transport department said that they would give permissions to private cars and busses to ply on Monday, invoking provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act 1977.

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  1. H
    Feb 15, 2016 at 6:59 am
    Every time the fuel price is raised, they want to increase the rates. Now that the rates have come down, what have the unions done to reduce cost of travel so as to benefit the common man? The governments all across the state should use this situation to make an essment on the running cost of an auto i.e cost of running an auto for one month which the expenses on fuel, maintenance, ry etc. Once this is agreed, it can be used as a base for future reductions or enhancements.
  2. A
    Feb 16, 2016 at 8:00 am
    Most of them without licence and ready to fight if you say why four you will be asked to get down from the auto no matter whats the time. Traffic police has allowed this to happen they are afraid of these people and union. Can any media raise this issue. Yesterday kandivali east ociayion raised fares from 14 to 16 which was raised from 12 to 14 just couple of mounths ago. What they expect commuter can pay Rs.16 in morning and in evening that is 32 and train travelling and any further (32return �28days=896 and train 30 returnx 28days=840 Total comes to =1,736 ) just a avg calculation many more like bus if comes into picture a man earning around 8-10k will do what?
  3. A
    Feb 15, 2016 at 4:38 am
    Disgusting! Rickshaw drivers think they r flying Helicopters. We are at their mercies to take us places. Wish we could Ban rickshaws !! but the sorry state of the government is that they care only for their politicians there is no option for us than to use these rickshaws ...aam admi is to suffer always
  4. A
    Feb 15, 2016 at 4:40 am
    The auto drivers can exercise their right for collective bargaining when they are unhappy but what do commuters do to when they are unhappy with the service of auto drivers. They can't one day decide not to go to work. Earlier there were no options either if auto drivers refused. And it happens a lot. Cab aggregators provide us with that option. If the customers are not happy with the services of one service provider then should have the right to switch to another. Adding artificial barriers of entry like these union leaders are demanding is not the way. They should instead work on improving their services and customer experience. The business would follow.
  5. A
    Feb 15, 2016 at 6:42 am
    Its better they stay on strike forever, Mumbai will find a better way to commute. such inconsiderate drivers should be taken off the road, it will not only encourage Mumbaikars to find better modes, but also ease the traffic.
  6. S
    Feb 15, 2016 at 11:04 am
    Auto drivers take mumbaikars for granted. They take the commuters as per their own likes and dislikes and opt for longer distance. Its but obvious that people opt for cabs. And they do protest for raise in rickshaw fares now and then. Its disgusting. They should be taught a lesson by entertaining them. Or else, they would keep protesting as and when they feel like.
  7. E
    esha singh
    Feb 15, 2016 at 8:29 am
    this is heights of the auto rickshaw drivers and their so called unions.. i live in the city where constant traveling requires autos or buses while taxi s are suppose to be driven in the city. But as said these drivers will drive according to their moods and once you sit in the auto they wont switch on the meter or they ll be like itna hi bhaada hota chalna hai to chalo. More audacity is when they say no they wont switch on the meter and sometimes demand half return back saying madam wahaan se khaali wapas aana padta hai. This is clear extortion and when government listens to them each time they pose a strike they want their demands fulfilled. i am strictly against this.. These auto guys should be taught a code of practise to women who have child in arms and senior citizens along with them.
  8. E
    esha shah
    Feb 15, 2016 at 12:57 pm
    Most reasons are already cover, they come as per their will, never reduce price though they use CNG not petrol. Compeion from Cab services is to be taken as opportunity not showing undue advantage of having unity.
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