Talks fail, autos continue strike in Kharghar, Taloja

Passengers’ woes: The deserted autorickshaw stand outside Kharghar railway station on Tuesday.

Passengers’ woes: The deserted autorickshaw stand outside Kharghar railway station on Tuesday.  

Another meeting today; commuters rely on NMMT buses

Navi Mumbai: Even after four meetings between the police and the representatives of Ekta Mitra Mandal auto union of Kharghar and Taloja auto union, the strike continued on Tuesday, forcing passengers to depend on NMMT buses and taxis.

Autorickshaw drivers from Kharghar and Taloja have been on strike since November 21 over a fight for jurisdiction. “Auto drivers have a monopoly, and always harass commuters with this attitude as if they run the node. We are the sufferers at the end of the day,” Srishti Ghosh from Kharghar said.

Senior police inspector Dilip Kale from Kharghar police station twice conducted the meeting with the unions while Assistant Commissioner of Police Prakash Nilewad of Panvel division and Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajendra Mane from Zone II organised the meeting once.

Another meeting with Mr. Nilewad is scheduled for Wednesday. “While Taloja union is adamant that as per law they can do business within a 35-km radius, Kharghar union says they won’t allow anyone else to use Kharghar auto stand. We are trying our best to bring peace between both parties,” Mr. Kale said.

On November 21, following stone-pelting and assault between the unions, the police arrested 15 auto drivers: seven from Ekta Mitra Mandal auto union, eight from Taloja auto union.

“We had planned to resume service on Monday post afternoon as our colleagues got bail. But later we cancelled the plan as the issue was not resolved,” Chandrakant Shelar from Kharghar union said.

Meanwhile, corporator Aziz Patel from Taloja said, “Fearing a fight, auto drivers will remain off road till the issue is amicably solved. Hopefully, Wednesday’s meeting should find a solution.”

Kharghar traffic police officers had requested the NMMT and taxi unions to operate services frequently. “We had requested Asudgaon depot in Panvel to operate more buses,” inspector Praveen Pandey from Kharghar traffic unit said.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 7:40:22 AM |

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