Nationwide transport strike against new safety bill gets mixed response - Alternative Media Forum


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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Nationwide transport strike against new safety bill gets mixed response

New Delhi(web team): The transport strike called by the autorickshaw-cab union in Mumbai, saw the city life in the central regions of Mahim, Matunga and Dadar been thrown out of gear.

Hoards of office going populace were seen stranded on bus stops or hitchhiking a ride to reach their destination.

Apart from regular cabs, even share taxis which would ferry five to six people from Kabutarkhana in Dadar to the Siddhi-Vinayak Temple were out of service, forcing families to walk all the way to Prabhadevi.

Similar situation prevailed atop the Matunga bridge, with commuters strolling in the scorching heat to Sion and Labour Camp areas, for which they would normally hail a taxi in less than five minutes.

However, commuters trained their guns on the BEST service, rather than the cab and rickshaws - who had seized operations seeking a hike in tariff.

"There are no extra buses on the road. With the strike, the department should have run extra buses or special route services, however there is nothing of such sorts. People are forced to take ride in an already crowded ride," Manohar Randive, resident of Matunga said.

The same displeasure was equated by Rajan Chowdhary, resisent of Mahim, who worked at the Mittal Towers in south Mumbai.

"Atleast today the BEST should have ferried more AC buses. We pay more than Rs 100 per ride and are supposed to go standing all the way?" Chowdhary questioned.

On the other hand, areas like western suburbs of Bandra and Andheri were bustling with traffic as usual.

(Bandra West was bustling with traffic - dna)

While, public transport like buses, auto rickshaw and taxi are operating today, an auto driver who was waiting to hire a passenger, Surendra Dubey, said, "There are many unions in auto rickshaw. However, my union ( Swabhiman Sanghatana auto union) did not announce the strike because of which we are not part the strike and are working today. Unless, our union leader announce the strike, we will be working."

Bandra East station was busy during peak hours and less effected due to strike . at Bandra west there were less autos compare seen and Best Buses were seen with protection shield.

Buses, auto rickshaws and taxi's were seen plying on the road in the areas like Chembur, Ghatkopar, Mulund and Bhandup today. It is same like any other day the roads are busy, buses are full as people are heading towards their workplaces.

One of the bus drivers from Chembur told iamin that, "We are told not to be a part of the strike else our salaries would be deducted."

Vishal Sharma (26) a working professional working in Bhandup who takes a bus from, Chembur to Kurla everyday said, "Reading all over about the strike. I got up at 5 am so that I can walk towards the station to board a train and reach office on time. However, everything was so normal."

Rajkumar Singh (52) an auto driver from Ghatkopar said, "I am not a part of the strike. As, strike was called off by few unions. The rest auto drivers had decided to ply on the roads today.

The strike is called to protest the new proposed transport bill which makes it mandatory for vehicles to have GPS systems and it also raises the fine charged upon violating traffic rules.

Despite the strike of All India Motor Vehicle Drivers Association, number of auto rickshaws on the road were seen working, especially share auto rickshaws. A rush at Swargate for public buses was observed as though auto rickshaws were working, they were quite a few in number.

(Commuters at Swargate bus station in Pune - dna)

With cabs also on strike, major problem was faced by employees of Multi National Companies travelling to office by cabs services. "My shift is at 5 AM and I have to travel till Hadapsar from Katraj. I had to take a bike as there was a strike of cabs" said Anagha Kashikar, 25.

In Nashik, private bus stops were deserted and on the other hand state bus station were crowded by citizens who depend on autos to commute.

(Shared autos were working in Nashik - dna)

In Jodhpur, Rajasthan, city transport and auto rickshaws are working fine. Only people who intend to get out of the city are facing problems due to participation of roadways buses in the strike.

(Jodhpur saw functioning city transport - dna)

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