Chandigarh: Commuters hit as auto-rickshaw drivers launch indefinite strike against Uber, Ola

The auto-rickshaw drivers shouted slogans against the Chandigarh administration for adopting double standards on diesel vehicles.

Chandigarh auto-rickshaw drivers, under the banner of Chandigarh-Mohali-Panchkula Auto-Rickshaw Joint Action Committee (CMPAJAC), on Sunday launched an indefinite strike against the increasingly popular app-based taxi services including Ola and Uber, causing hardships to the commuters.

The auto-rickshaw drivers who gathered at Sector 25 Rally Ground shouted slogans against the Chandigarh administration for adopting double standards on diesel vehicles and demanded that the app-based taxi services be withdrawn from the tri-city.

CMPAJAC leaders said the Chandigarh administration had arbitrarily banned the diesel auto-rickshaws last year which came as a blow to nearly 10,000 families. They said that the government apathy has snatched employment from the poor families who are on the roads.

PERMITS GIVEN TO AUTO-RICKSHAW OWNERS CONVERTED INTO LMV

"We are on the roads. Those who had raised loans to buy auto-rickshaws are neither able to pay the loan nor able to feed their families. The permits given to the auto-rickshaw owners were converted into light motor vehicle (LMV). Neither can we transport passengers nor are we allowed to transport goods. The police is challaning us despite the valid documents. Where should we go?" Kamla Kant Diwedi, chairman, CMPAJAC, told India Today.

The auto-rickshaw drivers said the local administration has meted out a step-motherly treatment to them by allowing the app-based taxi services which also run on diesel.

"The Ola and Uber taxis have been registered in Punjab, Haryana and New Delhi. They are illegal. If we are polluting the environment, they are also doing the same thing. The government should immediately ban these taxis and take legal action against them. Our strike is indefinite and will continue till our permits are corrected and illegal taxis are banned," Diwedi said.

Meanwhile, nearly a thousand auto-rickshaws remained grounded in various parts of Chandigarh including Sector 25 Rally Ground on Sunday. There was less chaos as offices are closed today however, commuters were hit due to the strike.

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