A union of taxi operators in the state has called for a 24-hour strike on September 7 in protest against the “indifferent attitude” of the state government towards their demand to revise taxi fare and waiting charges.
“We will go on a strike on September 7. We demand for revision of taxi fare at the rate Rs 50 for first two kilometres instead of Rs. 30, and Rs 25 per additional kilometer instead of Rs 15 in the interest of poor taxi drivers and owners so that they can earn their livelihood. In case of waiting charges, we demand Rs 2.5 instead of Rs 1.3 for every two minutes and 12 seconds, considering the hardship that taxi operators and owners are facing in the post-lockdown situation,” said West Bengal Taxi Operators’ Co-ordination Committee convener Nawal Kishor Shrivastav, who is also the national secretary of the National Federation of Indian Road Transport Workers. Both the organisations are affiliated to the All- India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), the labour wing of the Communist Party of India.
Taxi operators said the price of petrol and diesel has been increasing rapidly, making it impossible for them to earn their livelihood.
“We sent a letter to the Chief Minister on June 24, requesting revision of taxi fare. A copy was also forwarded to the Minister of Transport for needful action. A mass deputation and protest demonstration were also held there that day, but till date we have received no response. We have therefore decided to go on a strike,” Shrivastav added.