Passengers Suffer Due To 12-Hour Autorickshaw, Taxi Strike

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Bhubaneswar(PTI): Commuters faced difficulty in various parts of the state today as auto-rickshaws and taxis remained off roads in the morning owing to a 12-hour strike call by transport operators.

More than 1.35 lakh auto-rickshaws and 10,000 taxis joined the statewide strike, demanding a hike in fares in view of the rising fuel prices, one of the transport associations said.

The strike badly hit the office-goers and students, who were seen waiting at thoroughfares for alternative modes of transport.

The taxi and autorickshaw associations alleged that the state government and Centre were acting against its interests.

Padman Samal, the general secretary of the All-Odisha Auto and Taxi Drivers’ Association, said there was no mechanism in place for revision of fares.

“Whenever there is a rise in fuel prices, a technical team decides on increasing bus fares. However, there is no such mechanism for light vehicles such as taxi and auto rickshaws. We demand a revision in the fare chart in view of the hike in fuel prices,” he said.

All-Odisha Auto-rickshaw Driver’s Association president Subhas Singh, who is also a ruling BJD leader, said the Centre should take measures to address their woes.

The state government, too, should put pressure on the Centre to resolve the issue, he added.

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