Hyderabad: With the strike call given by the Telangana Cab Drivers and Owners Association getting a good response, techies and other corporate companies may have problems from Monday as taxi drivers engaged by such companies and other private agencies have decided to join the Association’s five-day strike.
The number of taxis that will be off the road has increased to 1 lakh from 80,000.
Association president V. Shiva said other cab owners-cum-drivers had joined with them and from Monday, the protest programmes will reach other districts.
“A majority of cabs are running in GHMC limits and other district cab drivers are extending their support. We shall hold a state level meeting on Monday to announce our future plans,” he said.
“We have announced our agitations up to January 4, but we will decide the extension of protest programmes on Monday. Till Sunday, we have adopted protest programmes following Gandhigiri,” he said.
The association holds that owner-drivers of cabs employed by private services like Uber and Ola are getting a raw deal.
Mr S. Kumar, a techie from Madhapur, said that the drivers’ strike would hit the IT sector which depends on them for transport of their employees. “There are nearly 35,000 cabs for 1,200 software companies in the IT corridor. About 3.5 lakh employees are utilising the cab services per day in three shifts. During night shifts, the cab service is most essential for IT companies,” he said.
The one lakh autorickshaws are not able to fill the gap. Nearly 50 per cent are engaged in ferrying school children in the morning and evening. The other 50 per cent are running as either a shuttle service or for passengers at railway and bus stations.
Till Sunday evening, there was no announcement from the Road Transport Corporation on any additional services that would be provided in view of the cab drivers’ strike.
The city has 3,800 buses of which 3,550 run regularly in 42,000 trips and travel about 9 lakh kilometres on 1,050 designated routes. The remaining 250 buses are in the depot for scheduled work like cleaning, overhauling, repairs etc. If the corporation runs an additional 200 buses, it will still not meet the requirement.
Protests at 1500 sites; Plying taxis stopped
Cab drivers with the Telangana Cab Drivers and Owners Associa-tion organised protest programmes at 1,500 locations in the city on Sunday. They removed air from the tyres of cabs that didn’t participate in the strike and explained the reasons for the strike and demands from cab managements.
The protests were held at Kondapur, Gachibowli, BHEL, Chandanagar, Hitec City, Madhapur, Kukat-pally, Moosapet Chow-rasta, Sanathnagar, Balanagar, Secundera-bad, Habsiguda, Uppal, L.B. Nagar, Karman-ghat, Chandrayangut-ta, Aramghar Chow-rasta etc.
Association president V. Shiva said, “We are seeking talks with the managements. We demand that the government take the initiative. Our demands are very genuine. But the managements are making provocative moves against us. Today they announced a new scheme to lure drivers saying they will get Rs 15,000 for every 12 trips in a day. Until we get solutions, we will continue our agitations.”
He said the association may call for an indefinite hunger strike after January 5. He said that the association will halt 98 per cent of cab services from Monday, allowing the two per cent that are engaged by government organisations, hospitals and emergency services. “We will not halt cabs that are carrying patients, families, children and pilgrims,” he said....