Autockshaws were off the road for a few hours in the city on Friday, particularly in the heart of the city, with the drivers taking out a march from Urwa Stores to Deputy Commissioner's office demanding more autorickshaw stands and reduction in price of the auto LPG.

The members Dakshina Kannada Auto Driver's Union took out the procession. On the way, they stopped in front of the Mangalore City Corporation where they staged a demonstration and submitted a memorandum to an official, who promised to place it before elected leaders.

Ivan D'souza, president of Mangalore City Autorickshaw Drivers' Association, said that only 74 autorickshaw stands had been constructed in a city that had more than 6,000 autos.

He said the Commissioner had promised to build auto parking facilities soon and but had not kept the promise. He revealed that current autorickshaw stands did not have required facilities.

L.P. Suvarna, Karnataka Rajya Autorickshaw Chalakara Federation district unit president, condemned the drastic increase in the price of petrol and said this would adversely affect the lives of autorickshaw drivers.

Leaders of autorickshaw drivers unions Ali Hasan and Ashok Shetty were present.

Autorickshaw drivers stopped plying the vehicles from noon to 3.30 p.m. instead of earlier announced timing of 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

People put to hardship

There was normalcy at the City Railway Station till noon. Near the KSRTC bus station in Bejai, however, several people had to bear the brunt of the strike. Mallesh from Arasikere had to carry his three bags from Lalbagh bus-stop to bus station in the absence of autorickshaws. A woman was forced to alight from an autorickshaw at Lalbagh and walk to the bus-stand.

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