Bharat Bandh: Auto drivers fleece commuters, make moolah

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Bangalore, Feb 21: The 48-hour-long nation-wide Bharat Bandh, which began on Wednesday has come as manna for auto-rickshaw drivers in Bangalore.

During the Bandh time, they are fleecing commuters and making moolah.

As buses and auto-rickshaws are very few on the roads, few auto-rickshaw drivers are taking advantage of the situation. They are charging double and triple the original fare from commuters. Commuters having no other options are relenting to the demands of the auto-rickshaw drivers

For a distance of 8-10 kms, auto-rickshaw drivers are charging Rs 300. On a regular day, fare would come around Rs 100.

"I have paid Rs 200 to travel a distance of five-kilometers to an auto-rickshaw driver. I have no other options, as my management has given strict instructions to attend office without failure," lamented Bhargavi Jain, who works in a software company in Bangalore.

Around 1, 75,000 auto-rickshaws ply on the city roads daily. Sources say out of that only 50,000 auto-rickshaw drivers are part of the strike. The rest are forced to join strike, not working for two days.

On the second day of the Bandh, few auto-rickshaws and buses are plying on the roads of Bangalore.

Bharat Bandh has been called by 11 trade unions bodies.

Opinions surrounding the nation-wide strike are varied. Few believe that wrong economic policies of the government are the reasons behind the Bandh called by trade unions.

Most of the Indian cities, including New Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore have come to an abrupt halt, where daily life has been affected severely.

The Bandh has been called by 11 trade union bodies. Some of the trade unions, who are participating in the strike, are - Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and many others.

The Bandh has been called against privatisation, outsourcing, violation of labour laws, and price rise.

OneIndia News

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