Mumbai taxis and auto rickshaws go off roads

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Mumbai, Oct 16 : In response to the Maharashtra Government's decision to phase out taxis that over 25-years old, thousands of taxis and auto rickshaws observed a day-long strike in Mumbai on Thursday.

Sharad Rao, the leader of the Mumbai Autorickshaw-Taximen's Union, said, "The Union has given a strike call to protest the Maharashtra government's decision to phase out taxis which are over 25-years old, besides other issues."

"The strike has received the complete support of the city and approximately 55,000 taxis and 1.5 lakh rickshaws will stay off the roads today," he added.

The Union stated that it was wrong to phase out the existing taxis, a majority of which are of the 'Premier Padmini' make, since the emission norms prescribed were being met by the vehicles.

It also alleged, the phasing out scheme was a ploy to allow "some persons" to take money from taxi drivers.

Rao said that in spite of the Maharashtra Government forming a committee to look into the issue and other matters like introduction of electronic meters in auto rickshaws, no solution has been worked out.

The Union is also demanding a hike in fares, making electronic meters optional, exemptions from paying toll tax and professional tax for taxi drivers, abolition of fleet taxis and providing facilities for taxi drivers at city airports.

ANI

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