Autorickshaw drivers’ unions are protesting against the recent hike in auto LPG prices

Autorickshaws stayed off the road in Bangalore and Mysore on Monday, causing inconvenience to a large number of commuters in the two cities.

The 24-hour strike, which ended at midnight on Monday, had been called in the wake of the recent hike in price of auto LPG from Rs. 54.40 to Rs. 65.53 a litre. While the autorickshaw drivers’ unions in Bangalore demanded that the State government bring down the tax imposed on auto LPG, the autorickshaw drivers in Mysore were seeking an upward revision in passenger fares.

Rudramurthy, convener of the United Struggle Committee of Autorickshaw Drivers’ Union in Bangalore, claimed that their call for strike received full cooperation from all the estimated 1.2 lakh autorickshaw drivers in Bangalore. “None of the autos ferried passengers,” he said.

With the government yet to respond to their demands, the unions have now decided to continue their agitation by holding demonstrations at Freedom Park in Bangalore from January 20 to 24. “If we do not get any assurance from the government by then, we will organise a ‘Raj Bhavan Chalo’ on January 25,” he said.

Autorickshaw drivers under the banner of various unions gathered in front of Town Hall to voice their grievances.

Meanwhile, BMTC ran an additional 200 buses on various high-density routes and increased the number of trips of existing schedules to come to the aid of commuters, who found themselves stranded in different parts of the city, particularly at the Bangalore City Railway Station.

Many parents of children, who are ferried to school in autos, were forced to drop their children in private vehicles. Regular auto users residing in or working in places connected by the Metro made use of the option on Monday in the absence of autorickshaws.

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