To discuss the issue of electronic meters and social security including pension,rickshaw panchayats from all over Maharashtra will hold a meeting in the city on Sunday. While panchayats have ruled out the possibility of a strike owing to the ongoing board exams,agitations and protests are likely to begin later this month.
Rickshaw panchayats from over 30 districts are expected to be present to decide the future course of action of the protests. On February 25,rickshaws all over the state went on a half-day strike protesting the state transport departments decision to make electronic meters mandatory from March 1 for new rickshaws and from May 1 for old ones. A PIL,filed on February 27,challenging the decision of making electronic meters mandatory is also pending at the Bombay HC.
Nitin Pawar,convenor,Pune Rickshaw Panchayat,said,The issues related to electronic meters are still pending. While we are being told to switch to electronic meters,more than 50 per cent autos in the state still run without meters. There are not enough facilities to repair the electronic or the mechanical meters. These are issues that need to be addressed.
Pawar added that the other concerns are those of meters and batteries being stolen from the rickshaws. The meters are going to cost around Rs 2500-3500 and the 12 volt batteries required with them will cost nearly Rs 3500. As most autorickshaws owners park their vehicles on the streets,there is a very high chance of theft of meters and batteries.