Yet another taxi strike cripples Kolkata
Commuters in this eastern metropolis were greatly inconvenienced Wednesday due to a 24-hour taxi strike called for a fare hike and to protest "police excesses".
Kolkata: Commuters in this eastern metropolis were greatly inconvenienced Wednesday due to a 24-hour taxi strike called for a fare hike and to protest "police excesses".
This is the tenth strike by local cabs since August 2014.
Commuters were stranded and harried as taxis stayed off the roads again due to the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC)-sponsored strike.
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) also supported the pull-out.
Across the city, long queues were seen at auto-rickshaw and cycle-rickshaw stands while buses plied at full capacity.
Residents in districts of Howrah, Hooghly, and South and North 24 Parganas were also affected.
The Bengal Taxi Association (BTA), which is not participating in the current agitation, provided cab services in key transit points like the airport and railway stations.
According to Bimal Guha of BTA, a helpline has been set up where passengers can get cab pick-ups from home.
Taxi drivers have pulled out their vehicles off the city roads on nine earlier occasions by calling wildcat strikes or protest walks as part of their stir against alleged police excesses.
At the centre of the dispute is the government decision to increase the fine for passenger refusal from Rs.100 to Rs.3,000 to combat repeated complaints of refusals.
The government in August arrested 22 drivers for vandalism as they damaged taxis which did not heed their call for strike and continued plying. They were released on bail after spending four days in jail.
Around 37,000 taxis ply in the city.