Coimbatore

Raise minimum fare to Rs. 30, demand autorickshaw drivers

Autorickshaw drivers stage a demonstration atFlower Market in Coimbatore on Monday. Photo: K. Ananthan

Autorickshaw drivers stage a demonstration atFlower Market in Coimbatore on Monday. Photo: K. Ananthan  

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Over 1,200 autorickshaw drivers blocked the road in front of the Flower Market here demanding that the minimum fare be raised to Rs. 30 for 1.5km, and Rs. 15 for every additional kilometre. The agitation was organised by a Joint Action Committee comprising various trade unions.

District president of the committee P.K. Sugumaran, and secretary P. Venkatraman led the agitation. With only one week left for autorickshaw drivers to meet the deadline to recalibrate meters, the agitation attracted good response from them. The drivers said they would intensify the agitation till the demands were met.

District president of Labour Progressive Federation P. Sampath Kumar said that most of the protesters have recalibrated the meters. There was a 15 per cent to 25 per cent increase in the number of trips after the new fares came to force, he said adding that there was a 50 per cent drop in revenue.

District secretary of Pattali Makkal Katchi’s trade union N. Jayakumar said that in the last few weeks drivers understood that it was not viable to operate at the existing fares.

All autorickshaws except those of the Anna Trade Union of the AIADMK went of roads from 6am to 6pm. Namma Auto, and Makkal Auto plied their service as usual.

Manager of one of these fleets said that 30 of their vehicles were forced to go off road following threat from protesters. Passengers at the railway station and bus stands had some difficulty in reaching the destinations in and around the city. The strike turned out to be a blessing in disguise for call taxis operators, as they made good business.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 5:01:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/raise-minimum-fare-to-rs-30-demand-autorickshaw-drivers/article6675179.ece

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