Two strikes called by auto-taxi unions and petrol pumps on Monday are set to cripple traffic movement and cause severe inconvenience to commuters in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR).

The auto-rickshaw and taxi unions are protesting against the Delhi government’s policies on cab aggregators Uber and Ola, and the Centre’s rule on speed governors.

The one-day strike has been called by Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti, one of the major auto-taxi unions in Delhi, and supported by others like All India Tour and Transport Association (AITTA).

Some have threatened to block major roads in the city and stage a protest against the Centre in front of Parliament.

AITTA chairman Inderjeet Singh claimed that the unions made “multiple attempts” to reach out to the governments at the Centre and Delhi. “But we got no response. So we are now forced to block roads to make our voice heard.”

A senior Delhi transport department official, on condition of anonymity, said, “The reason for the strike is completely unfounded as no such policy has been notified till now. A draft was prepared, but there has not been any development.”

Delhi has about 95,000 registered auto-rickshaws and about 1.5 lakh cabs plying on city roads.

‘Reduce VAT On Petrol Diesel Prices’

The other strike called by the Delhi Petrol Dealers Association (DPDA) to press the state government to reduce value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel prices will see a 24-hour shutdown of petrol pumps across the city.

According to IANS, its president Nischal Singhania had said that the Arvind Kejriwal government’s refusal to reduce VAT on petrol and diesel prices had caused losses of around 30% to the pumps in Delhi as people chose to get fuel at stations outside the city, in UP and Haryana, which had cut VAT after the Centre slashed petrol-diesel prices by Rs 2.50 per litre each.

He also said that consumers are forced to go for cheaper, dirtier fuels in UP and Haryana, causing more pollution in Delhi, as the environment-friendly Euro VI fuel, that produces 80% lesser emission, is available only in the national capital.

Chief minister Kejriwal, however, blamed the BJP for the strike.

“Petrol pump owners hv told us privately that this is a BJP sponsored strike, actively supported by oil cos. In fact, BJP has thrust it upon petrol pump owners. People will give BJP a befitting reply in elections for continuously inconveniencing people thro their dirty politics,” he said in a tweet on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, state-run oil marketing companies cut the prices of petrol and diesel for a fourth consecutive day on Sunday amid lower global crude oil prices.

According to the IndianOil Corp data, petrol price was cut by 25 paise and diesel by 17 paise. Petrol was selling at Rs 81.74 a litre, while diesel cost Rs 75.19 per litre in the national capital.

First Published: Oct 21, 2018 23:58 IST

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