Commuters in the national capital are in a limbo today as most of the auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers are on strike, while many petrol pumps are closed.
The 12-hour autos and taxi strike, which started from 6 am today, is spearheaded by an auto-taxi union, Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti, to protest against the Delhi government’s policies on cab aggregators and Centre’s rule on speed governors. They have been demanding the government to intervene and has called for a dialogue on the matter.
The protestors on the streets of the capital today were, however, seen indulged in a forced shutdown, intimidating autos and taxi drivers to stop their duty from ferrying passengers.
The cab aggregators are also of the opinion that taxi drivers in Delhi were not very keen to bring their vehicles online today due to fear for their vehicles getting damaged or being left assaulted.
Ola and Uber have both informed Inc42 that the cab aggregators are continuously communicating with Delhi commuters about the disruption.
“We regret the disruption caused to our rider and driver-partner community, due to a small group of individuals. We remain committed to serving the city and ensuring that our driver partners continue to access a stable income, while giving riders a convenient, reliable option to get around their city,” Uber spokesperson told Inc42 in an email correspondence.
Delhi has about 95,000 registered auto-rickshaws and about 1.5 lakh cabs plying on city roads.
On the other hand, approximately 400 petrol pumps in Delhi was reportedly shut today, as directed by the Delhi Petrol Dealers Association (DPDA), to protest against the Delhi government’s alleged refusal to reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel prices. The shutdown will continue till 5 am on 23 October.
The DPDA called the shutdown in the aftermath of the central government’s announcement to reduce INR 2.50 in petrol and diesel prices on October 5. The step was followed by 10 states — Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat — reducing INR 2.5 VAT on petrol and diesel.
States like Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal had also announced cuts in VAT amid rising fuel prices.
In the national capital, petrol is priced at INR 81.44 per litre, 30 paise down from Sunday’s price of INR 81.74.