New Delhi: Commuters in Delhi-NCR will need to brace up for a no-show of taxis on Tuesday as the drivers of two app-based cab aggregators Ola and Uber have threatened to go off roads against "low fares".
The strikers will gather at Mata Sundari Gurudwara off the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg and will march to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's house in Civil Lines.
This is the second round of strike called by the drivers. They had gone on strike in February too, which had lasted 13 days, causing inconvenience to commuters in Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, and Faridabad.
As per agitating Sarvodaya Drivers' Association, some groups of tourist taxi providers, autorickshaw union have extended their support to the strike, which means private transport service in Delhi and neighbouring cities will be hit badly. Their demands are:
- The Association, which claims to represent around 1.25 lakh app-based taxis in the Delhi-NCR, wants that fares be increased from existing Rs 6 per km to around 20 per km.
- It also demands the abolition of 25 percent commission the drivers are charged by companies.
- The agitating drivers also demand a stop be put to 'share' service employed by Ola and Uber, where many commuters share a cab to various points in the city lying along one route.
- They also want that these taxis be run according to a Delhi government authorised meter, which should be certified by Standardisation Testing and Quality certification (STQC).
Sarvodaya Drivers' Association of Delhi president Kamaljeet Gill told news agency IANS: "These companies are big swindlers. Just as a crook sells movie ticket in 'black', when there are more buyers than there are seats, they too do the same, they only name it 'Surge' pricing or 'peak-hour' pricing. They tell you that you will be charged Rs 6 per kilometre but you end up paying Rs 18-20 instead."
Meanwhile, Ravi Rathore, the vice-president of the Sarvodaya Drivers' Association, said the drivers will take out a protest march against the Delhi government which, he alleged, is not intervening to resolve the issue.
He said the association has called for the one-day strike in favour of the demands and if companies and government do not pay heed, they will go on an indefinite strike.
According to the association, the 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 percent from us," Rathore also said.
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, the general secretary of both the associations, said.
Earlier on Monday, the Delhi High Court restrained two taxi drivers' unions - the Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi (SDAD) and the Rajdhani Tourist Drivers' Union - from disrupting services of cabs run by Ola and Uber in the national capital region.
Welcoming the court order, Uber in a statement said it hopes it will enable drivers to stay behind the wheel, without fear or harassment.
"We are hopeful that the order will be effectively enforced and that action is taken against any person who attempts to block cars, confiscate devices or harass riders and drivers and that the safety of everyone using the Uber App in Delhi is ensured.”
"We are committed to keeping Delhi moving and ensuring a reliable experience for riders and drivers," Uber said.
(With Agency inputs)