AS many as 5,000 drivers of app-based cab aggregators Ola and Uber went off the road on Tuesday to protest what they called “unfair policies of the companies and their walking back on the promises made to driver-partners”. This caused inconvenience to commuters as less than usual cabs were available for app-based booking.
The commuters from Vimannagar, Wagholi, Kharadi, Hinjawadi, Wakad, Aundh and other areas suffered while travelling to and from their offices. Several people were caught off guard and complained that drivers demanded additional money to complete the booked trip. The situation at Pune airport, junction, IT parks (Hinjawadi and Eon) was among the worst.
“The companies promised drivers they would earn Rs 1.5 lakh per month, which made them buy the vehicles on a high EMI. But now drivers are earning very little due to various newer policies adopted by the service aggregators. They are unable to even cover their costs. Many drivers of both the companies are facing financial problems,” said Guru Katti, president, Swaraj Vahan Chalak-Malak Sangathan.
Sachin Kulkarni, a frequent user of cab from Aundh, said: “I was in a hurry to reach Lohegaon, but today I was unable to book a cab. The app was showing no cabs in my area. I booked an auto and paid him Rs 335. If cabs had been available, I would have spent Rs 150 or 200.”
Passengers at Pune junction were forced to wait to book the cab, as there were no cabs inside the premises. Several passengers booked autorickshaw and cool cab.
Ritesh Jain, who arrived at Pune junction, said: “When I reached to pick up point, there were no cabs. I was told that the drivers are on strike. Finally, I booked an autorickshaw to my home.”
Meanwhile, Uber spokesperson said, “We regret the disruption caused to our rider and driver-partner community in some parts of Pune at certain points during the day, due to a small group of individuals. We remain committed to serving the city and ensuring rider and driver safety at all times. We are focused on ensuring that our driver-partners in Pune continue to access a stable income while giving riders a convenient, reliable option to get around the city and hence proactively take necessary measures from time to time.”
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