Office-goers and other commuters in the Delhi-NCR region who depend on aggregators like Ola and Uber for daily transport should brace themselves for some hardship tomorrow. Drivers of the two top app-based taxi aggregators have threatened to go off roads for a day in protest against the "low fares" and the Delhi government’s failure in addressing their issues.
The one-day strike is likely to hit private transport service in Delhi and other neighbouring cities as some groups of tourist taxi providers, autorickshaw union, have extended their support to it, the agitating Sarvodaya Drivers' Association said today.
The association, which claims to represent around 1.25 lakh app-based taxis in the Delhi-NCR, has sought a steep increase in fares from existing Rs 6 per km to around 20 per km besides abolition of the 25 per cent commission the companies charge their drivers.
Ravi Rathore, vice-president of the Sarvodaya Drivers' Association, said drivers will take out a protest march against the Delhi government which, he alleged, is not intervening to resolve the issue.
"The protest march will be taken out from Majnu-ka-Tila to the CM's residence in North Delhi's Civil Lines area. There is anger among drivers that government is not intervening in raising their issues with Ola and Uber," Rathore said, adding that they may extend the one-day strike to an indefinite one if their demands are not heeded to by the government as well as the companies.
According to the association, app-based cab companies made "tall promises" to drivers-- like they would earn as much as Rs 1.5 lakh every month.
"But the situation is different. They are making us run taxis at Rs 6 per km while they charge 25 per cent from us," Rathore said.
However, contrary to the association's claim that most autorickshaw and tourists associations have decided to lend their support to the strike, Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh and Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union (yellow-black taxis) said they will not participate in it.
"We will not support the strike in Delhi," Rajendra Soni, general secretary of both the associations, said.
This is the second round of strike called by the drivers after February this year. The strike last time lasted 13 days, causing inconvenience to commuters in Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad. Moreover, the surge pricing companies had resorted to made the situation even worse.