Navi Mumbai: No earning for the last six months due to pandemic, the auto rickshaw drivers in Navi Mumbai are facing another challenge. They alleged that auto-rickshaw aggregators are affecting their business as autorickshaws from Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan are entering in the city and plying illegally. They demanded that the transport department must clarify whether aggregators-run auto rickshaws are allowed to enter in the city or not.
Kranti Rickshaw Taxi Joint Action Committee Maharashtra (KRTJAC) met regional transport office in Vashi and submitted a written complaint to deputy regional transport officer.
Kasam Mulani, president of KRTJAC said that the situation is getting out of control as auto-rickshaw drivers are fighting among each other for business. “Auto-rickshaws in the city ply on the meter and charge accordingly. However, aggregator-based auto-rickshaws enter the city and take customers at different rates,” said Mulani. He added that while auto-rickshaw drivers kept waiting in queue, they come from Mumbai, Kalyan and Thane and take booking of passengers on the app and run within the city.
According to unions, they have no problem if they come to the city to drop passengers as there is free movement of auto-rickshaw in different RTOs. However, as there is no clarity on whether aggregator-based auto-rickshaws are allowed, there are often chances of fight among auto-rickshaw drivers for passengers. “We have updated the RTO about the ground reality and we hope they will find a solution,” said Mulani.
However, the Vashi RTO suggested them to complain to the transport commissioner about the problem and if they receive any specific guidelines from there, they will take action.
Meanwhile, auto-rickshaw unions in the city have threatened to stage protest if the issue is not sorted out as early as possible.