Kozhikode autorickshaw drivers to strike work today seeking better facilities

They allege that the city is yet to have sufficient number of parking slots and comfort stations

September 25, 2022 06:26 pm | Updated 06:26 pm IST - Kozhikode

Seeking better parking spots and comfort station facilities, a section of autorickshaw drivers will hold a 24-hour token strike in Kozhikode City Corporation limits on Monday. All major trade unions, except the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), will be part of the strike.

The coordination committee of protesters alleged that the city was yet to have sufficient number of parking spots reserved for autorickshaws despite the steep increase in the number of new vehicles. It also claimed that the recent traffic rearrangements had resulted in the reduction of approved parking slots in many convenient locations.

“There are over 5,000 autorickshaws in the city limits but the comfort station facilities are yet to be improved. The majority are forced to depend on hotels and restaurants to meet their primary needs,” said a coordinator of the protest. He said the government had given the green signal for new permits without looking into basic facilities.

The coordination committee leaders, who announced the protest with the support of 12 drivers’ unions in the district, said the “threatening approach” of some police officers in the name of traffic enforcement activities was another challenge for the drivers. According to them, some police officers were targeting only autorickshaw drivers and imposing fines in the name of various violations.

Meanwhile, autorickshaw drivers owing allegiance to the CITU claimed that the protest was “politically motivated”. The demands were unreasonable and without an understanding of reality. “Our union kept away from the strike as the majority of the demands were already considered by the Corporation authorities for speedy solution,” they said.

“One of the demands is to stop the sanctioning of new permits, which is totally against the declared policies of the Union and State governments to encourage non-polluting vehicles,” said T.V. Noushad, a functionary of the drivers’ union of CITU. He said additional parking spots and comfort stations were included in the priority list of the Corporation following talks with their union leaders. 

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