Kolkata: Not being able to digest the new measures announced by Minister for Consumer Affairs & Self Help Group & Self-Employment Sadhan Pandey, the auto drivers in the Ultadanga route resorted to their sudden self-called strike on Monday morning. The unannounced strike led to the discomfort of thousand of passengers in the busy hours of the first day of the week.
Considering themselves as the kings of the road, they started a strike in order to protest against the legal and normal acceptance of fares. After the minister’s warning, the auto drivers took the actual fare. But having taken less fares, they are now back to what they believe in.
An angry passenger said, “Their income reduced due to the pressure from the
minister. How long will they tolerate it? So they have called a strike to prove their power. Why they did not complain till date about the police levying fines on them? Do the common people not understand anything?
The auto-drivers plying in routes such as Ultadanga-Salt Lake, Ultadanga-Sova Bazaar, Ultadanga-Nimtala, Ultadanga-Manicktala and Ultadanga-Baguiati cause the maximum chaos, as alleged.
Four problems are faced regularly – Using other routes to ply passengers, hiking
fares unnecessarily, bad behavior of auto drivers, plying passengers through their own decided routes – were the things discussed. The passengers have accused the auto-drivers of taking Rs 60 for a Rs 25 fare.
Sadhan instructed the drivers to be more cautious when carrying passengers. They
cannot drop them in the middle of the route or ask for any amount of fare. A board will be set up in the auto-stand where a list of the auto-fares for different routes will be written. This chart will be followed.
The minister also instructed the passengers to note the auto’s number and lodge a complaint with the consumers safety department if he/she falls into any problem. The department will look into the matter thoroughly and if proved right then the auto-drivers will be penalised.
Important numbers have also been provided by the minister where passengers can complain if he/she falls into trouble.