Token stir planned against permitless e-rickshaw services

Protesting against permitless services conducted by electric autorickshaws (e-rickshaws) in the city, a district-level coordination committee of various autorickshaw drivers’ unions will hold a token strike on January 20.

Over 4,000 autorickshaws will keep off the road, urging the Motor Vehicles Department, police, and local bodies to address their concerns.

Leaders of the coordination committee said drivers running petrol and diesel vehicles would also stage a hunger strike in front of the KSRTC office to highlight the continuing uncertainty in the sector.

“The lack of proper guideline or service regulation has caused confusion in the operation of e-autorickshaws. Now, they are free to operate anywhere in the city, but such a freedom is not granted to a majority of conventional autorickshaw drivers,” said Sajeev Kumar, a leader of the coordination committee.

He added that the rule should be same for all operators. All major trade unions, including the All India trade Union Congress, Indian National trade Union Congress, Hindustan Mazdoor Sangh, and Swatantra Thozhilali Union, have declared their support for the strike call.

Trade union leaders claimed that the lack of a proper city permit system for e-rickshaws was causing huge loss to traditional operators.

They also alleged that the district administration and the MVD authorities were cold-shouldering their demands to implement a separate city service permit system for electric vehicles. According to them, traditional drivers have been campaigning for their demands for a year.

Meanwhile, MVD sources said trade unions were unaware of the Road Safety Authority’s plan to implement a separate numbering system for e-rickshaws to streamline its services. It will come into effect soon, and traditional drivers should cooperate with the process, they said.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2020 5:13:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/token-stir-planned-against-permitless-e-rickshaw-services/article30590148.ece

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