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Bengaluru cab drivers take to social media to keep stir on

While Ola and Uber are sending bulk messages to its drivers to end the ongoing strike, protesting drivers are using social media including WhatsApp to continue their agitation. 

Published: 02nd March 2017 05:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd March 2017 05:09 AM   |  A+A-

Hundreds of Ola and Uber drivers take part in an indefinite fast at Freedom Park on Wednesday | NAGESH POLALI

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: While Ola and Uber are sending bulk messages to its drivers to end the ongoing strike, protesting drivers are using social media including WhatsApp to continue their agitation. 


The drivers’ associations say they have created nearly 100 WhatsApp groups that give real time updates to its protesting members across the city. “We don’t have technology or funds like Uber and Ola to pass bulk messages. We are now dependent on WhatsApp to share information about the protests with our drivers,” said Tanveer Pasha, a union leader.


Protest continues

Hundreds of drivers staged an indefinite fast in Freedom Park on Wednesday. “We have decided to continue the strike till our demands are met. JD(S) president H D Kumaraswamy is also expected to join,” Pasha said.


K Somasekhar, a member of Namma Chalakara Sangha, said, “Ola and Uber are now offering additional incentives to the drivers to stop this protest. They are giving incentives up to Rs 4,500 for six trips compared to the previous Rs 1,500. But we are ready to operate only at government fixed fares.”


High cab fares

As reported by Express, many commuters complain about unusual hike in fares because of the low availability of cabs due to the ongoing strike. P Sangeetha, who booked an Ola, said: “I have been paying double the usual fare for the past few days. Action should be taken against cab operators who are imposing surge pricing despite a ban.”

However, other cab operators and rent-a-car companies are gaining. Sangeetha Perumbeti, spokesperson of UTOO, claimed their bookings have seen a three time increase since Wednesday. “We are now operating 500 cabs in the city. We will increase it to 2,500 by year end,” she said.

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