Partial auto strike in Delhi

New Delhi, Sep 7 (Calcutta Tube) More than half of Delhi’s 55,000 autorickshaws went off the roads Tuesday to protest a government directive on driver badges.

Of the 25 autorickshaw unions, 14 union took part in the strike that began at 9 a.m in line with a nationwide industrial shutdown.

But the yellow-green carriages plied in various part of the city despite the protest.

‘Of the 25 unions, 11 are not involved in the strike,’ Mansoori, general secretary of the Rashtriya Rajdhani Shetra Tin-Pahiya Chalak Union, told IANS.

He said such a partial strike would not have much effect but their cause was important.

‘Over 10 years ago we were issued temporary driver badges after we paid Rs.400 each and attended a two-day class. The government promised to replace these with permanent ones, but that is yet to be done.

‘Now the government is asking us to pay Rs.600 and appear for a fresh test. Why should we keep paying money? Can’t the process be carried out in a more planned manner?’ he asked.

Many autorickshaw drivers are angry with the government and transport officials in particular. The drivers say they face problems in securing vehicle fitness certificate.

‘For the past week I have been going for a fitness certificate to the Burari Inspection Office of the transport department but they never say anything categorically. After a week they said their computer is not working,’ complained Roop Lal, an autorickshaw driver.

Every day around 200-250 autos are issued fitness certificates at the Burari office.

Many autorickshaw drivers complained that they are fined by the traffic police due to lack of fitness certificates, and half their day’s earning goes into paying these.

The 14 autorickshaw unions in the capital demand that the officials give away permanent badges and fitness certificates in a more planned manner at the earliest.

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