CNG auto, taxi driv­ers to protest e-to­ken sys­tem

B’town won’t have van­ity vans this Dec

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - DNA Cor­re­spon­dent cor­re­spon­[email protected]­dia.net Full re­port on www.dnain­dia.com cor­re­spon­[email protected]­dia.net

The taxi and auto unions have once again threat­ened to go on a strike. How­ever, this time, they will be protest­ing the Ma­hana­gar Gas Lim­ited’s (MGL) de­ci­sion to make on­line book­ing for CNG manda­tory. The Bom­bay Au­torick­shaw­men’s Union and Mum­bai Taxi­men’s Union have threat­ened to stage a protest on De­cem­ber 13.

They will be­gin this protest at 10 am in front of MGL’S of­fice in Ban­dra Kurla Com­plex (BKC). “We are protest­ing the manda­tory on­line book­ing to fill CNG in taxis and auto rick­shaws. Ma­jor­ity of taxi and auto rick­shaw driv­ers do not have smart phones nor do they know how to use one for tak­ing these ap­point­ments,” said AL Quadros, Gen­eral Sec­re­tary, Mum­bai Taxi­men’s Union.

As per this process, one can take an on­line ap­point­ment for fill­ing up gas at any CNG sta­tion nearby. The unions are, how­ever, claim­ing that au­tos and taxis will find it dif­fi­cult as they ply for 7-8 hours and in case of an emer­gency, they will not be able to wait for an on­line ap­point­ment, which, a car-owner can book eas­ily. Cur­rently, there are more than 3 lakh CNG ve­hi­cles ply­ing, in­clud­ing pri­vate cars, taxis and au­tos. The driv­ers claim that there are only 135 out­lets, which lead to traf­fic snarls.

DNA Cor­re­spon­dent Bol­ly­wood stars might lose their van­ity vans as the as­so­ci­a­tion of van­ity van own­ers have threat­ened to go on a strike from De­cem­ber 10.

The Bol­ly­wood Celebrity Van­ity Van As­so­ci­a­tion and the All Cam­per Van Own­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion have de­cided to go on an in­def­i­nite ‘non-co­op­er­a­tion move­ment’, which is ex­pected to im­pact nearly 6,000 peo­ple from the film fra­ter­nity and the on­go­ing film shoot­ings.

The protest comes after the Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment, as per new tax rule 2009, will start charg­ing tax as per 5,000 sq me­ter for a van­ity van from the owner, amount­ing to Rs 1,25,000 per an­num. “Nowhere in the coun­try is the tax charged on the di­men­sion of ve­hi­cles. This is hap­pen­ing only in Ma­ha­rash­tra for van­ity vans. In other states, the taxes on van­ity vans are not more than Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 per an­num, even a life­time tax is for Rs 1 lakh,” said Ke­tan Rawal, Pres­i­dent, All Cam­per Van Own­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion.

The tax is said to be high­est in Ma­ha­rash­tra as com­pared to Gu­jarat where the tax is Rs 57,725 for 10 years, and in Delhi where the weight of ve­hi­cles is taxed.

—AADESH CHOUDHARI/DNA

Artist Anpu Varkey paints a graffiti on a build­ing in Shahu Nagar at Mahim for the St+art Fes­ti­val which is sched­uled from De­cem­ber 1 to 22

Photo for rep­re­sen­ta­tion

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