Commuters bear brunt of taxi strike

Kolkata: Commuters bore brunt of a one- day token strike observed by about 33,000 taxis at the call of the Bengal Taxi Association demanding a hike of the existing fare following the rise in diesel price.

Barring an incident in which a taxi driver was injured and the vehicle damaged by striking drivers, the strike was peaceful, police said.

The Association has demanded a hike of Rs six over the existing fare.

Taxi stands at most of the city areas were deserted, causing inconvenience to thousands of passengers stranded at Howrah, Sealdah and Kolkata stations, besides at the airport.

Private cars and matadors had brisk business in the absence of majority of the taxis, charging high premium from passengers.

Claiming success of the strike, Bengal Taxi Association president Bimal Guha said they would wait till July 30 for the state government to accept the demands before they would go for a bigger agitation.

Transport Minister Ranjit Kundu had requested a fortnight's time on the Association's demands for which a token strike was called during the day, he said.

Progressive Taximen's Association, of which Trinamool Congress leader Madan Mitra, MLA, is the president, said it did not participate in the strike as it would inconvenience the commuters.