New Delhi: The auto-rickshaw and yellow-top taxi drivers on Thursday night called off their indefinite strike after an assurance from the Delhi government on their demands. Joint Action Committee of Auto and Taxi Unions (JACATU) president Rajendra Soni said: “We have ended our strike after getting an assurance letter from Satyendar Jain (Transport Minister). Now, the auto-rickshaw and taxi services will resume from today (Thursday) night.”
Soni said the minister had accepted JACATU’s demands. He warned that if the government went back on its promises, all autorickshaw and taxi drivers will again resort to strike. “The government has agreed to formulate a policy for app-based cab agreegators like Uber and Ola,” Soni said.
A Delhi government in a statement said if any vehicle registered outside Delhi is found plying as auto or taxi in Delhi it would be either challaned or impounded.
Thousands of Delhi’s autos and taxis remained off the roads for the third consecutive day. Commuters, private cab drivers complained of being cowed down by protesting auto drivers.
Angry passengers were seen at airport, railway stations and bus stands finding it very difficult to reach their destinations. They were left with no option but hire cabs and autos with exorbitant prices.
‘I have three children with me and I am struggling since an hour to manage a cab to reach a hotel in Saket. It costs me Rs 300-400 but today they are charging Rs 2200-2500 for the same distance’ said an angry passenger at IGI airport in Delhi.
“Nothing less than 400 madam, no autos are plying on roads and taking you will be risky, so this is the amount you have to pay” said an auto driver to India Today. When India Today took the issue to the authorities they said it is politically motivated and the issue does not come under their ambit. “It is a BJP sponsored strike and the cab services are also supported by the BJP,” said an AAP leader.
Twenty unions of autos and taxis had formed a Joint Action Committee which called for the indefinite strike. The strike hit commuters hard with many stranded in several places including Connaught place, railway stations, and ISBTs.