New Delhi: To protest against the soaring fuel prices, members of auto, taxi and cab drivers' associations in Delhi have decided to go on a strike from Monday for two days.
Several unions of auto and cab drivers are demanding that the fare rates be hiked and fuel prices be reduced. The strike has not been called off despite assurance from the Delhi government to resolve their issues. The Delhi government had announced forming a committee to look into fare revision in a time-bound manner.
Auto and Taxi Association of Delhi, a unit of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, has announced a strike in Delhi on April 18 and 19. They claim that a large number of autos and cabs will not hit the streets of Delhi on these two days.
General Secretary of Delhi Auto Rickshaw Sangh, Rajendra Soni in a telephonic conversation with ANI alleged that the Central and the Delhi government is not paying heed to their demands.
He said that they wrote a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on March 30 highlighting their demands which include subsidy on CNG prices. "We did not receive a response from the government. We staged a protest for two days and are now compelled to go on strike," he said.
Listing demands of the auto and cab unions, Mr Soni said, "We do not want the fare to increase, because it will affect the pockets of the common people as well. Our only demand is that the government does not increase the fuel price and give us subsidy on CNG prices. We demand that the government provide ₹ 35 per kg subsidy on CNG prices."
Mr Soni assured that the protest would be peaceful; however, he warned that some elements - in favour of the government - might attempt to disrupt the protest.
However, many more unions associated with auto and taxis are not joining this strike. Delhi State President of Capital Driver Welfare Association, Chandu Chaurasia told ANI that Gramin Seva and e-rickshaw will not take part in the strike on April 18 and 19.
"As usual, we will continue to serve the people of Delhi," he said. However, Chaurasia also supported the demand for subsidy on CNG and said that we should definitely get relief.
President of the Sarvodaya Drivers' Association of Delhi, Kamaljeet Gill said that Ola and Uber cab drivers will go on a strike on from April 18. "Ola and Uber fares have not been increased since 2015 and we have protested against this many times but the government did not pay heed. In these seven years, the prices of CNG and petrol started soaring high," he said.
Mr Singh also said that the protest will not stop until a solution to the problem is found. "We have support from Lucknow, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai. Strikes will also start there tomorrow," he added.
The price of CNG is currently ₹ 71.61 per kg in Delhi.