Officials to take action against taxi union for impromptu strike

Officials to take action against taxi union for impromptu strike
Picture: Sakal

A Navi-Mumbai based taxi union held the city at ransom after it’s members protested against the surge pricing practised by taxi-aggregators at Azad Maidan on Tuesday morning.

The protest was called by the ‘Jay Bhagwan Taxi-Rickshaw Driver Owner Mahasangh’, with it’s drivers refusing to ferry passengers anywhere across the city during peak hours. The union is backed by Nitesh Rane’s Swabhimaan Sanghatana.

A city daily has also reported that the union members turned violent, targeting private vehicles that had mobile phones attached next to their steering wheels.

Half a dozen were also arrested for damaging private vehicles.

Their leader Bala Sanap, however, has denied any such reports and claimed that their members were protesting peacefully. He added that if anyone did get violent, then they were likely not a part of their union.

The union was protesting against the surge pricing practised by aggregators like Ola and Uber, which allows them to charge a higher fare during peak hours. In comparison, the black-and-yellow taxis are forced to charge the same fare.

The proposed City Taxi Scheme 2015 is expected to put an end to ‘surge pricing’ by curbing the maximum amount any taxi can charge per kilometer. However, it is still under advisement with the state government. The union has threatened to call an indefinite strike if the scheme is not passed by July 26.

Transport commissioner, Shyam Wardhane, said that since the union did not inform them about the strike in writing and inconvenienced commuters by parking their vehicles on the road, the department is planning to take action against the union.

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