Bengaluru’s autorickshaw drivers will go on strike today, March 20, in opposition to the city’s private bike taxi aggregators. According to M. Manjunath, head of the Adarsh Auto and Taxi Drivers’ Union, over two lakh autorickshaws will be off the roads from Sunday midnight to Monday midnight.
In the state capital of Karnataka, the organization boasts one of the largest memberships of autorickshaw drivers. The autorickshaw drivers would march from Bengaluru City Train Station to the Chief Minister’s Residence, according to a PTI report.
“We’ll go on strike for 24 hours starting at midnight on Sunday. Our protests are directed against the city’s illegally running bike taxis,” “Manjunath spoke to PTI.
The state transportation department, according to him, considered bike taxis to be unlawful, yet the drivers continue to use them freely on city streets. In addition, Manjunath said that 21 associations of autorickshaw drivers had united to oppose bike taxis.
A recent viral video showed an autorickshaw driver allegedly using such services illegally by slamming a bike taxi driver’s phone at a busy downtown crossroads. To attract consumers, Bengaluru’s autorickshaw drivers and bike taxi drivers have been fighting for space on the city’s roads.
The state government’s Karnataka Electric Bike Taxi Program 2021 was designed to enhance first- and last-mile connectivity, support environmentally friendly transportation options, and ease urban mobility.
The State Transport Department was protested by the Auto-rickshaw Drivers’ Union Federation of Bengaluru earlier in December 2022 for allowing a private company to operate the city’s e-bike taxi service. The federation members claimed that private aggregators destroyed their livelihoods by offering incentives through online applications for bike-taxi services.