Perturbed over the realization of escalated fares including the minimum fare of Rs 10 a group of youth under the banner of social organization, Udhav Ek Nai Soch on Monday carried out a Gandhigiri stance by offering roses to auto-rickshaw drivers requesting them not to charge high fares.
The protestors led by Sashi Pandey, who congregated at Randhir Verma Chowk in Dhanbad near the district headquarters at around 1 pm, carried out the campaign till 90 minutes during which they also appealed the auto drivers to consider the impact of lockdown on the income of common people and adopt a rationale attitude towards the fare fixation.
Talking to the media, Sashi Pandey said, “At a time when the educational institutions like schools and colleges are gradually opening as per the government orders, the realization of high fares by auto-rickshaw will adversely affect the students as many government school going children’s parents have lost their jobs and the income of others have been badly affected.”
“The auto drivers are charging escalated fares on their own as the final decision during their meeting with the district administration held on December 24 has not been taken and will be decided after several rounds of meeting before February 14, 2021,” said Pandey.
“The minimum fare of Rs 10 is too high from any standard and we would complain the district administration by meeting sub-divisional officer, Surendra Prasad, if the auto-rickshaw operators continue to charge escalated fares which were fixed by the district administration only for lockdown period,” said Pandey.
More than 18,000 auto-rickshaw drivers and auto drivers carried out a three-day strike in Dhanbad from December 22 to December 24 in support of their different demands including fixing of minimum fare as Rs 10 and allocation of routes for auto rickshaw and fixation of auto stoppages.
The strike, however, came to an end on December 24 after the talks held between the protestors and district administration held under the mediation of Dhanbad MLA Raj Sinha during which the administration assured to take a decision on all their demands after holding rounds of meetings before February 14, 2021.