Commuters faced a tough time in Thane on Thursday as auto rickshaws stayed off roads in support of a bandh call given by various city auto rickshaw unions against the recent actions taken by the civic administration. Drivers of around seven rickshaw union joined the strike call of the joint action committee of the unions, unions’ convenor Ravi Rao said.
He said the strike was against Thane Municipal Commission’s (TMC) recent crackdown on illegal parking and encroachment in the city. “The corporation has not made any proper parking zones across Thane city as a result of which drivers are forced to park their vehicles at places convenient to them. Hence, we are on strike today against the civic body’s highhanded behaviour against rickshaw drivers,” Rao said.
More than 60 per cent autos did ply and a morcha was also taken out by drivers and hawkers at the district collectorate. Earlier this month, a deputy municipal commissioner was allegedy beaten up by roadside hawkers during a demolition drive in Naupada area.
After the assault on the senior official, TMC launched a massive drive against illegal encroachment across the city. Meanwhile, an official spokesman of the Thane Municipal Corporation said in an official release that the civic administration never intended to make the city free of hawkers.
“What it wanted was to regulate them so that the citizens do not not face any problems due to them,” he said. As regards the auto rickshaw he said that the administration always wanted them to follow road discipline which would help both the passengers as well as the automen.