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Auto, taxi drivers in Delhi begins 2-day strike from today over fuel, CNG price hike

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The Delhi-NCR residents are likely to face problems as various unions of auto, taxi and minibus drivers have decided to go on strike on Monday to protest against rising petrol, diesel and CNG prices.

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While most unions said they will be on a one-day strike, the Sarvodaya Driver Association Delhi, which has members who drive for cab aggregators, said it will go an “indefinite” strike from Monday.

“We have decided to go on an indefinite strike from Monday in view of no action by the government to help us by slashing prices of fuels and revising fares,” President, Sarvodaya Driver Association Delhi, Kamaljeet Gill, was quoted as saying by sources news agency.

The unions, notably, have refused to call off their strike despite an announcement by the Delhi government to form a committee to consider fare revision in a time-bound manner.

CNG prices have risen by 60 per cent or over ₹28 per kg in one year and PNG by over a third. The auto fares were last revised in 2019 while taxi fares were revised in 2013. The Delhi government in June 2019 had notified new auto-rickshaw fares, effecting more than 18 per cent increase over prevailing rates and raising per Km charge from ₹8 to ₹9.5.

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CNG in the national capital territory of Delhi now costs ₹71.61 per kg, up from ₹69.11 per kg, according to the information posted on the website of Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) — the firm which retails CNG and piped cooking gas in the national capital and adjoining cities.

In all, the CNG price has risen by ₹15.6 per kg in less than six weeks. This includes a ₹7.50 per kg hike in this month alone.

In the last one year, prices have increased by ₹28.21 per kg or 60 per cent

General secretary of STA Operators Ekta Manch, Shyamlal Gola, said that RTV buses, numbering around 10,000, will also be off road in support of the demands to revise fares and bring down CNG prices.

General Secretary of Delhi Auto Rickshaw Sangh, Rajendra Soni in a telephonic conversation with ANI alleged that the Central and the Delhi government is not paying heed to their demands.

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Listing demands of the auto and cab unions, Soni said, “We do not want the fare to increase, because it will affect the pockets of the common people as well. Our only demand is that the government does not increase the fuel price and give us subsidy on CNG prices. We demand that the government provide ₹35 per kg subsidy on CNG prices

President of the Sarvodaya Drivers’ Association of Delhi, Kamaljeet Gill said that Ola and Uber cab drivers will go on a strike on from April 18. “Ola and Uber fares have not been increased since 2015 and we have protested against this many times but the government did not pay heed. In these seven years, the prices of CNG and petrol started soaring high,” he said.

Meanwhile, traffic is also likely to be disrupted due to dharna by residents of Ghamroj (Haryana) and surrounding villages to oppose the Sohna toll plaza coming up on Sohna road. In view of this, the Gurugram traffic police have requested all heavy vehicles to avoid this route and take alternate routes.

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