2-day autorickshaw bandh in city leaves commuters in the lurch - The New Indian Express

2-day autorickshaw bandh in city leaves commuters in the lurch

Published: 05th September 2013 11:11 AM

Last Updated: 05th September 2013 11:13 AM

With auto-rickshaws staying off the roads on Wednesday as part of the bandh protesting against high traffic penalties,  rail passengers and commuters were badly hit.

Passengers who arrived by various trains at the railway station here bore the brunt of the auto bandh. Those who landed at railway stations and bus stands from other states and districts with loads of luggage and families including children, were caught unaware of the strike and were the worst hit.

Auto Driver Unions’ JAC and 13 other auto unions have announced to observe bandh on Wednesday and Thursday as the government failed to act on their demand of cancelling GO 108, which prescribes a minimum penalty of Rs 1,000 for traffic violations instead of the earlier Rs 100.

Suresh, who arrived at the Secunderabad railway station said “We did not know that auto drivers are on strike and we have been walking a long distance looking for an auto”.  A few auto drivers who ventured to make a quick buck were booed by other drivers.

Rathan, who had a job interview in the morning, had to walk to his destination after auto union members stopped the auto he was travelling in. “I hired an auto at the Film City to reach Banjara Hills. However, half way through the distance, some auto union members stopped my auto and I had to walk to reach my destination,’’ he said.

Some of the autos fleeced the passengers  taking advantage of the situation. “I live just two km away from Secunderabad railway station and the auto drivers were demanding Rs 100-150 for such a short distance,” said Suresh. “I wanted to go to Jubilee bus stand from Secunderabad and they were demanding Rs 200 for that,” said another passenger waiting for an auto outside the railway station.

Auto Driver Unions’ JAC general secretary Venkatesh said they will observe the bandh on Thursday also.

A public meeting will be organised by the union at Indira Park on Thursday and the union members plan to  gherao Transport Bhavan on Friday, he said.

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