Delhi Transport Strike Live Updates: Office-Goers, Students Hit Metro, DTC Buses Unaffected :- Due to transport strike several private buses, taxis and autorickshaws remained off the roads, officer-goers faced difficulties in reaching their workplaces on Thursday morning. The strike also led many schools in the national capital to remain shut.
Delhi Transport Strike Live Updates
Transport unions have called for the strike to protest against the hefty fines imposed under the amended Motor Vehicles (MV) Act 2019. A large number of autorickshaws, taxis, Ola and Uber cab services that are used many office-goers daily, private buses, and commercial buses ferrying students to and from schools, will remain off the roads in Delhi and NCR. Metro and DTC bus services will remain unaffected. However, the trains and buses are expected to be more crowded than usual.
Thirty-four associations of autos, taxis, private school buses, maxi cabs, OLA and Uber cabs, cluster buses under STA, Gramin Seva and large commercial vehicles have called for a strike on Thursday from morning 6 am to 10 pm. The protest called by the commercial transport operators is likely to cause a huge inconvenience to commuters.
The decision to call a strike was taken by the United Front of Transport Associations (UFTA) to highlight issues including hiked penalties, Section 44AE of Income Tax Act, Rs 5 lakh cap on payment of vehicular insurance by insurance companies and also legislations on the health insurance of drivers.
UFTA general secretary Shyamlal Gola said, “We have been seeking redressal of our grievances related to the new MV Act from both the Centre and the Delhi government for the last 15 days, but no solution is there in sight, forcing us to go on a one-day strike.”
In a press conference, the Noida Transport United Front (NTUF) also called for a strike on Thursday alongside cab associations, CNG auto associations, and bus operators. Around 50,000 transport vehicles are expected to stay off the roads. The Noida cabs association president Yogesh Verma said, “For 19 September all companies have been notified that cab services will be affected. We have listed some demands. The government is not ready to listen to our demands, so we have no other choice but to go on strike.”
Reportedly, the Delhi Police has issued an advisory saying that traffic is affected from the stretch of Majnu ka Tila to Nigambodh Ghat.
Earlier, the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) on 10 September held a protest outside the residence of Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, raising slogans against the government and even lifting up a scooter in the air to mark their protest.
On Tuesday as well, Nitin Gadkari asserted that majority of the states are on board with regard to the new motor law and it is well within their right to make changes in penalties where a range of fines for traffic violations has been fixed.
The Road Transport and Highways Minister said that by and large people have welcomed the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act and he is hopeful of reduction in the number of deaths related to road accidents.
Although office-goers faced difficulties in reaching their workplaces on Thursday morning as several private buses, taxis and autorickshaws remained off the roads after a strike called by the UFTA against the new MV Act provisions, services of Delhi Metro and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses remained unaffected.
Kishore Lal, a government employee, said he had to take the metro as the daily chartered bus from his residential colony to his office did not ply. The DTC buses were more crowded than usual due to the extra load of passengers.
The transport strike called by the United Front of Transport Associations (UFTA) however did not have any effect in Gurugram, where reports have claimed the situation to be normal. The auto and cab drivers in the region were not even aware of the strike called by the transport union.
Rajendra Soni, General Secretary of Delhi Taxi Union slammed the Centre for the hike in fines under the new Motor Vehicle Amendment, saying “Centre needs to cut back on the new fines since most of the taxi drivers are poor and cannot afford it if fined.” He also said that with Ola/Uber coming into the market, the taxi drivers are already affected. He further added, “Bring back the old fines, these new fines need to go!”
Over 40 transport associations are protesting and around two lakh vehicles are on strike. Rajendra Kapoor, convenor of United Front of Transport Associations said, “We are not supporting anyone who is causing a nuisance on the road.”
Many schools in the national capital will remain closed as a result of the strike. Many parents received messages from their children’s schools informing them that educational institutes will be closed on Thursday.
The protest turned unruly in some parts of the national capital by afternoon with transport workers forcing passengers out of cabs and autos. In Akshardham area, a cab was also vandalised for reportedly ferrying passengers despite the strike call.