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Mumbai: Commuters hit hard as 1 lakh auto drivers go on strike

MUMBAI: Mumbai residents faced trouble commuting on Wednesday morning after over one lakh auto-rickshaw drivers went on strike at midnight demanding that the Maharashtra government regulate the operation of cab aggregators such as Uber and Ola.

While two unions — Jai Bhagwan Taxi Rickshaw Sangathana and Nitesh Rane-led Swabhimaan Sanghatana — decided to hold off going on strike after assurance from the Transport Minister (Diwakar Raote), Shashank Rao’s union went ahead with the strike.

“Around 1 lakh autorickshaws will not ply on Wednesday as the state government has been ignoring their demands, which is affecting their livelihood,” Shashank Rao told Times of India.

Rao also wants the state government to stop private bus operators and transport cars from ferrying passengers, aside from banning Uber and Ola till it forms a policy for cab aggregators.

Several office goers had to take a walk to the nearest station to reach the destination.

On second thoughts, it’s nice to see empty, clear roads. #autostrike #mumbai
— Brainless Einstein (@juneedkhan10) August 31, 2016
Auto rickshaws on strike in Mumbai today. The worst hit are is Mumbai suburbs. #AutoStrike
— AbHiShEk (@ab13g) August 31, 2016

Autostrike in Mumbai today, plan ur travels accordingly @RidlrMUM

— Anish (@anishmg) August 31, 2016
When you wake up at 7 am for a planned intense Zumba session but #autostrike happens to you.
— sanam chowdhry (@SanamJC) August 31, 2016
On August 24, demanding action against cab aggregators Uber and Ola, Jai Bhagwan Sanghatana had announced an indefinite strike from Wednesday. Another union led by Rane had lent its support to the stir.

Their three key demands included putting the operations of app-based cab aggregators on hold till rules and regulations are formulated by the state government; if allowed, they be asked to ply outside the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and that they be brought under the ambit of RTO rules and regulation.

In June, taxi and autorickshaw drivers had protested at Azad Maidan seeking inquiry and action against cab aggregators over their pricing strategy to attract customers.

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