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Rediff.com  » News » Mumbai cabbies put Tuesday strike on hold

Mumbai cabbies put Tuesday strike on hold

August 22, 2011 13:54 IST
Withdrawing the strike call given last week, the Bombay Taximen Union Taxis has said that taxis will ply on Mumbai roads on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

If the outcome of the talks between the union and the state turns out satisfactorily, then taxis will continue to ply from Friday onwards. If not, else the cabbies will stay off roads.

"We have withdrawn the call, as we are expecting to meet the transport secretary on Thursday. We will decide on the future recourse based on the outcome of the meeting," said Mumbai Taximen's Union leader AL Quadros.

However, he lamented that previous meetings with the authorities have not been very encouraging. "We have met three chief ministers, including the incumbent Prithviraj Chavan. All we got is a string of assurances and nothing else," he said.

Top on the list of demands by the union is to withdraw the newly-introduced process of dispatching a driving licence by Speed Post.

"The taxi drivers do not have a proper postal address, since they live in slums. This results in licences dispatched by the Regional Transport Office not reaching their destinations," Quadros said.

About 6,000 drivers, both new and those renewing have been affected by this process. We want the licences to be handed over by the RTO in person," he added.

The union has also been seeking to restore the 1,200 taxis stands that have been uprooted because of various reasons, including road repair and infrastructure projects.

The long-pending demand of renewing the issuance of permits to taxi drivers will also be made by union. He said that as of 1997, when the government stopped issuing new permits, there were 62,000 taxis plying on Mumbai streets.

"Now the figures have come down to 42,000 whereas the population has increased several folds," he concluded.

N Ganesh in Mumbai