Auto driv­ers threaten strike over new bus ser­vice

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

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