The situation in Mumbai, paralysed by the motormen's strike, just got worse as 40 per cent of the city taxis stayed off the roads on Tuesday. In addition nearly 1,700 drivers of the privately-run Meru Cabs also went on strike to demand better wages.
Mumbai taxi union leader A L Quadros told PTI, "Most taxi drivers reside in suburbs and they could not come to town to run the taxis. Therefore, 40 per cent of the 40,000 taxis are off the road today."
Adding up to the troubles, Meru cab drivers also went on strike demanding rise in pay scales and protesting unfair suspension of drivers.
"Even though we provide good service to people, our payments are not that good. Also, the management has removed some drivers on account of poor behaviour. The management does not behave properly with us," Satish Trivedi, a driver associated with Meru, said.
Meanwhile, taxi drivers could not reach some of the main taxi hubs like Mumbai Central, Agripada, Wadala causing inconvenience to lakhs of commuters, he added.
The nightmare for thousands of Mumbaikars continued as the strike by motormen crippled the city for the second day, resulting in huge traffic jams and forcing many to remain indoors.
Railway authorities said only 20 per cent suburban trains were operating as a result of the stir by motormen demanding hike in pay scales and allowances.
"The situation in the city is getting worse. The government should immediately take step in to resolve the matter. It's pathetic," said a furious Ramesh Bhoga, 27, an accounts manager with a private firm in Andheri.
"I could not go to office today due to this strike. Last night while returning home, I had to face lot of problem," said Bhoga, resident of Worli in central Mumbai. Like Bhoga most of Mumbaikars remained indoors.
"Severe action should be taken against the motormen," said Balakrishna Lingal, 28, a senior executive in a private firm at suburban Bandra.
"I know many people who walked for 15 to 20 km to reach their destinations yesterday. Today I reached my office in a taxi but the roads were clogged by huge traffic jams," he said.
The traffic police deployed extra personnel on the city roads to control the traffic and maintain a smooth flow on the roads, particularly on Western and Eastern Express Highways after many trains got cancelled and commuters opted for road transport.
"As per norms only three passengers are allowed in a taxi but we are taking no action against taxi drivers exceeding the limit in view of the train strike," said a traffic cop at Worli.