Auto, taxi, and cab drivers' associations in Delhi have called for a two-day strike from today to protest against the rising fuel and CNG prices. Delhiites may face difficulties during these two days of commuting across the national capital after several unions of auto and cab drivers are demanding that the fare rates be hiked and fuel prices be reduced. There are over 90,000 autos and more than 80,000 registered taxis, complementing the public transport system in the city.
While most unions said they will be on a one-day strike, the Sarvodaya Drivers Association Delhi, which has members who drive for cab aggregators, said it will be an "indefinite" strike from Monday.
CNG prices have risen by 60 percent, or over 28 per kg in one year, and in 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 notified new auto-rickshaw fares, effecting a more than 18 per cent increase over prevailing rates and raising the per km charge from 8 to 9.5.
According to the information posted on the website of Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), which retails CNGand piped cooking gas in the national capital and adjoining cities, the cost of 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 year, prices have increased by 28.21 per kg, or 60 per cent.
Shyamlal Gola, general secretary of STA Operators, Ekta Manch, and Shyamlal Manch, said that RTV buses, numbering around 10,000, will also be off the road in support of the demands to revise fares and bring down CNG prices.
In a telephone conversation with ANI, Rajendra Soni alleged that the Central and Delhi governments are not paying heed to their demands.
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 gives us a subsidy on CNG prices. We demand that the government provide a 35 per kg subsidy on CNG prices.
On April 18, the President of the Sarvodaya Drivers' Association of Delhi, Kamaljeet Gill, said that Ola and Uber cab drivers will go on strike from April 18 to April 18. "Ola and Uber fares have not been increased since 2015, and we have protested this many times, but the government did not pay heed. In these seven years, the prices of CNG and petrol started soaring, "he said.