Bhubaneswar: Passengers and commuters across Odisha faced a harrowing experience due to a 12-hour statewide strike by the All Odisha Auto-rickshaw and Taxi Drivers’ Association on Thursday.
Auto-rickshaws and taxis have kept off roads since 6 am on Thursday demanding fulfilment of their demands.
The daily commuters, who depend on the autos for their daily travel to offices, workplaces and other destinations, are suffering owing to this strike. People are most affected in twin cities Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
Auto-rickshaws were seen standing in queues while the passengers were searching for other options to reach their destinations.
The association’s demand includes a mechanism for fixing fares as per increase and decrease in fuel price, similar to that of bus fare mechanism in the state.
They are demanding for new auto stands and a standard rate of charge. The association is also opposing an increase in the fitness tax and insurance premium.
More than 1.4 lakh auto-rickshaws and around 10,000 taxis have joined the strike.
“Whenever there is a rise in fuel prices, a technical team decides on increasing bus fares. However, there is no such mechanism for light vehicles such as taxi and auto rickshaws. We demand revision in fare chart as per the fuel price hike,” said Padman Samal, General Secretary of the All-Odisha Auto and Taxi Drivers’ Association.