Delhiites relieved as auto strike off
New Delhi: In a major relief to Delhiites, more than half of the city's 55,000 autorickshaws which went on strike from Thursday midnight returned to the roads on Saturday.
Some auto unions had gone on strike demanding that the Delhi government pay for the Global Positioning System (GPS) devices to be installed in their vehicles.
"The strike is off for now as we have been assured by the government that they will meet all our demands," Rakesh Sood, Delhi unit president of the Bharatiya Private Transport Mazdoor Mahasangh, told a news agency.
Around 10 representatives of the union met Delhi's Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely Friday evening for almost an hour, following which the strike was called off late Friday night, said Sood.
"Our demands of a welfare board for autorickshaw drivers, pension and healthcare schemes for our families have been met and the minister has promised that within four months, the board will be constructed," added Sood.
According to Sood, the unions have agreed to the government's plan of breaking down the installation cost of GPS devices -- which comes to around Rs 7,500 -- to 12 monthly instalments of Rs 625.
"We have also been assured that those drivers who have the autos registered in their names will get further rebates... but that will take at least a month," added Sood.
City residents faced a tough time Friday due to the auto strike, with the spillover effect leading to increased rush in Metro and buses.
The government wants autorickshaws to be fitted with GPS devices to enable a two-way communication system that will help check speeding, route deviation and ensure commuter safety.