Auto drivers threaten strike over new bus service
PANVEL: The autorickshaw drivers’ demand to reduce the frequency of the recently started Karanjade to Panvel railway station bus service has been rejected by the authorities.
The autorickshaw drivers have indicated that they could go on strike, claiming that their business is suffering due to the service. MLA Prashant Thakur too has supported the demand of the autorickshaw men.
On Thursday, deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Arvind Salve, Panvel deputy RTO Anand Patil, NMMT general manager Shirish Aradwad, representatives of autorickshaw men and Citizens Unity Forum met to discuss the issue. The officials made it cleared that the demand would not be accepted.
The new NMMT bus service (Panvel 76) was started on April 15. The service has received a good response from residents of Karanje and the other new developing areas with around 1,000 passengers using it every day.
Due to the opposition by auto drivers, the service is being run under police protection. Satish Acharya, a representative of the local autorickshawmen, said: “We are suffering losses due to the bus service. We are asking
for the 18-minute frequency to be changed to one hour.”
NMMT general manager Shirish Aradwad said, “Reduction in the frequency
will make the service unfeasible. NMMT will suffer losses.”
Thakur suggested allowing share autorickshaw service which Patil agreed. However,
with the other stake holders not agreeing to it, the autorickshawmen representatives left the meeting stating that they plan to go on strike.