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It's a govt-sponsored strike: Mumbai taxi union

Last updated on: June 22, 2010 11:48 IST
"We have not supported any strike. There is no point in calling this strike," Bombay Taximen Union Secretary A L Quadros told

Quadros alleged that Tuesday's strike is a "government-sponsored" strike called by a non-government organisation Swabhiman run by state Revenue Minister Narayan Rane's son Nitesh Rane.

His union is the predominant taximen's union in the city.

Swabhiman Autorickshaw Taxi Union Secretary Sheena Pujari confirmed Swabhiman had called the strike. Nitesh Rane is currently in the United States and unavailable for comment.

Normal life in Mumbai came to a grinding halt as over 80,000 autorickshaws and over 100,000 taxis stayed off the road.

Quadros alleged Swabhiman activists are resorting to violence to cow down autorickshaw and taxi drivers who want to ply on the roads.

"We have already submitted our demand for fare hike to Transport Secretary S C Sangitrao and Transport Commissioner Dilip Jadhav and we will be meeting today to see what the government is planning to do with our demands," he said over the telephone.

Quadros added that his union had its own plan of action if the government does not accept its demands.

Amongst other things the Bombay Taximen Union has demanded is a hike in the minimum taxi fare from Rs 14 to Rs 16 and the fare for every kilometre after the minimum distance to be increased from Rs 9 to Rs 11.

Prasanna D Zore in Mumbai