Good News, Mumbaikars! Auto, Taxi Strike Postponed; CM To Take A Decision In 10 Days

The auto and taxi union had announced a strike from September 15 as their demand to increase the minimum fare went unheard by the Maharashtra government.

Good News, Mumbaikars! Auto, Taxi Strike Postponed; CM To Take A Decision In 10 Days

In a significant development, it has come to light that the indefinite auto and taxi strike, which was scheduled to commence on Thursday, September 15, in Mumbai has been postponed.

This announcement was made by the union after a meeting held with the Maharashtra Industry Minister Uday Samant on Tuesday, September 13.

More than two dozen representatives of various taxi and rickshaw unions of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) in the city met the minister discussed their demands.

After the meeting, the auto taxi union leaders shared that the industry minister has assured us that his government will take a concrete decision for regulating several issues of rickshaw and taxi drivers including fare hikes within 10 days. So, they have decided to postpone our strike as of now.

Taximen have demanded a INR 10 hike in fares - from minimum INR 25 to INR 35. A few autorickshaw unions said they will wait for the government to hike fares till July 31, failing which they too may support the taximen's strike.

On the other hand, the auto unions are expecting a fare hike of INR 3 in minimum fare - from INR 21 to INR 24.

For those unversed, in their latest petition to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on August 23, the taxi drivers have demanded a hike of INR 10. A L Quadros from Mumbai Taximen's Union said due to a series of hikes, taxi and autorickshaw operators’ earnings have dropped by INR 250-300 daily. Drivers are left with no alternative but to call for a strike if a decision is not taken quickly.

The price of CNG has gone up by a total of INR 32 since the last rate review in March 2021, he stated, adding that for a fuel price hike of over 25 per cent, the government has to hike fares as per the Khatua committee recommendations.

On the other hand, Thampy Kurien from Mumbai Rickshawmen's Union exclaimed that as per the Khatua committee calculation, which takes into account fuel price, cost of living index, capital cost, maintenance of vehicle and insurance, the minimum hike we would have got a couple of days back was INR 3. Taxi unions have not made any calculations.

In order to press their various long pending demands furthermore, the Mumbai Taximen Union had earlier announced a strike on Monday, August 1, 2022; however, recently, the prices of CNG had reduced on August 16 by INR 6 per kg and domestic piped natural gas (PNG) by INR 4 per standard cubic metre (SCM). Now, the revised MRP, inclusive of all taxes, of the CNG is INR 80 per kg while the PNG rate is INR 48.50/SCM in and around Mumbai.

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