Colombo: Taxi drivers in Sri Lanka`s
capital held up traffic today, demanding the government should
stop allowing anymore use Tata Nanos on the streets that offer
stiff competition to the ubiquitous three-wheelers.
Hundreds of three-wheel taxis choked parts of the city
for over an hour to protest against a taxi company, linked to
a ruling party politician, from using a fleet of Nanos.
The politician was seen at the wheel of a Nano with
President Mahinda Rajapakse at the passenger seat this week
after Nano Cab company launched the cheaper taxi service
earlier this month.
The Federation of Self-Employees (FOSE) said their
members would lose business if the Nano cabs were allowed to
The cab company had said it wants to increase the current
fleet of 45 to 200 by the end of the year.
FOSE said President Rajapakse had promised in his
election manifesto to grant them tax concessions to help
reduce environment pollution caused by the Indian-made three
wheelers, which have become the common man`s taxi.
The Nano service is offered at a lower price than
air-conditioned cars and their fares are comparable to three
"we are going to lose our jobs and the nano cabs will
take over our taxi stands," a spokesman for the protesters
Nano, although considered the world`s cheapest car, cost
Rs 925,000 ($8,500) here, nearly three times more than its
cost in India.