The autorickshaw drivers in union territory of Daman and Diu have threatened to go on an indefinite strike from Thursday onwards protesting against the local administrations decision to issue licences for bike-on-rent for tourists.
The Diu Auto Drivers Association met Daman and Diu administrator Bhupinder Bhalla last month and demanded revocation of licences issued to seven persons in Diu to offer bike-on-rent services to tourists. Auto association president Jatin Baraiya claimed that the administrator had assured them of looking into the issue.
There are 280 auto drivers on this island of 15 square kilometres area and their families depend on daily earning by ferrying passengers. The bike-on-rent service will rob these auto drivers of their livelihood. Though the administrator has given an assurance,nothing has happened so far and therefore we shall go on an indefinite strike from Thursday, Baraiya said on Wednesday.
The local administration has issued licences to seven persons of Diu to offer bike-on-rent service to tourists in last two months. These seven licence holders have been given permission to operate 39 bikes in all with a maximum daily rent of Rs 350 per vehicle.
The auto association fears more and more tourists would opt for bike thus affecting their earning. Besides,there are around 100 more bikes on offer for rent. So,if the administration wants to promote bike-on-rent,why did they issue licences for autos, Baraiya said.
But Diu Collector Ramesh Verma said the licences were legal and would not be revoked. The bike-on-rent licence have been issued to promote tourism on the island. We have received a number of complaints from tourists about auto drivers overcharging them, Verma said.