Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Autos, city taxis off roads today

Autos, city taxis off roads today

Bangalore: Office-goers, schoolchildren, shoppers and other commuters are best advised to make their own transport arrangements on Tuesday, as autodrivers have decided to join the all-India strike. The cause: welfare and rise in prices. The strike will be on from 6 am to 6 pm.
Au t o d r ive r unions told The Times of India that they are participating in the strike to force the state government to address their demands.
The unions are demanding the establishment of an autodrivers’ welfare board that will address their needs from time to time, a house for each licensed driver from the BDA or a housing cooperative society authorized by the government, public distribution system cards to enable them to buy essential goods at lower prices and action against private financiers who are charging astronomical rates of interest for loans. The drivers also want loans to enable them to convert analog meters into digital meters.
Schools that depend on autos to ferry their pupils will decide on Tuesday morning whether to declare a holiday or not. The Karnataka Auto and Taxi Drivers’ and Women Welfare Association, as also the BJP-affiliated auto drivers’ association, won’t support the strike. Meru and Easy Cabs will ply to the airport as usual. Some autos, pvt taxis will ply No Holiday For Schools; BMTC To Deploy Additional Buses
Bangalore: Though their demand for a hike in fares was met, autodrivers are on strike on Tuesday to draw attention to their other demands of housing, PDS and loans. “Normal protests don’t seem to move the government. We have to resort to a strike to make it respond,” M Manjunath of Adarsha Union said.
He said the demands have been long pending, but no one in the government seemed to care. “How else do we tell them what we face? Else, let the government do something to reduce prices.”
An auto union owing affiliation to the BJP said it won’t support the strike. “We were on protest very recently and most of our demands were accepted. Why should we go on protest again? Is this right? We suspect that some parties against the BJP are instigating autodrivers to strike,” a union member said. The Karnataka Auto and Taxi Drivers and Women Welfare Association will not support Tuesday’s strike.
In a statement issued on Monday, they said they were satisfied with the introduction of green autorickshaws being made mandatory, one-piece glass and others. “We strongly oppose the proposed autorickshaw strike on Tuesday in the interest of the three big festivals — Ramzan, Mary’s Feast and Ganesha Chathurthi. There are possibilities of untoward incidents such as attacks on drivers, damage to vehicles of those who intend to ply, and therefore we request the police department to provide protection,” the statement said.
Representatives of Lorry Owners and Agents’ Association said lorries will not participate in the strike as the state government had agreed to address their demands on sand transport and toll levy. “We will wait for another week. Then we will take a call,” a member said.
City taxis on radio call will participate in the strike, while private taxis will not. Taxis coming under Meru and Easy Cab will ply to the airport.
BMTC has said it will deploy additional buses to help commuters reach offices and business areas. “We have surplus buses. It will not be a problem to deploy them in the interest of the public,” senior BMTC officials said.
Schools which depend on autorickshaws to ferry their children may be hit. These schools are contemplating whether to declare a holiday or not, depending on the situation on Tuesday. “There is a possibility that the strike could be called off. We will decide on Tuesday morning after confirming about the strike,’’ the authorities said. But a majority of schools said they will function as usual.


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