MUMBAI: Mumbai black and yellow taxis have gone on strike demanding ban on Uber, Ola and TaxiForSure.
The protest has been called by the Swabhiman Taxi-Rickshaw Union, led by Nitesh Rane, the son of Congress leader Narayan Rane.
It is estimated that about 10,000-15,000 taxi drivers are expected to participate in this agitation.
The ‘Swabhiman Union’ claims it has 18,000 auto rickshaw owners and 12,000 taxi owners as its members. “The day long strike which will end at 5 PM, is only an alarm to the state government and if our demands are not met, then the union would be forced to launch an intensive agitation,” said K K Tiwari, Mumbai President of Swabhiman Union.
Even though the A L Quadros-led Mumbai Taximen’s Union, which is the biggest taxi drivers’ union in Mumbai, has opposed the strike, thousands of Mumbaikars have been inconvenienced by the strike.
Quadros, in fact, appealed to all taxi drivers in the city to ply their cabs ‘fearlessly’.
The contention of the striking taxi drivers is that it is ‘illegal for cab aggregators to ply in Mumbai’ and it is because of Ola and Uber, drivers of the iconic black-yellow taxis of Mumbai do not get long-distance customers.
The Times of India reported that the strike comes at a time when the school session is set to resume, but the taximen’s representatives insist that it is just a matter of one day.
Earlier, it had dashed off a letter to Maharashtra transport commissioner with a copy to state transport minister Diwakar Raote and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on June 9, demanding to ban the entry of mobile application driven cabs such as Uber, Ola, Meru Plus etc.