Vehicles will ply normally on the roads of Mumbai on Christmas, as transport unions on Wednesday announced they will not hold any strike on December 25.
Earlier, this week, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-affiliated transport union Navbharatiya Shiv Vahatuk Sangathana (NSVS) stated, if the state government doesn't announce a fare hike for taxis and auto rickshaws, then the union will go on a strike on December 25.
In a meeting of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA) on Tuesday, the decision regarding fare hike was postponed for the next meeting, as no decision could be taken on the matter. “We had a meeting with MMRTA officials today. The officials told us they will come to a decision in the next two weeks, so we decided not to hold any strike on December 25," said Haji Ali Arafat, leader and spokesperson NSVS told the Free Press Journal.
The BJP-affiliated union had proposed a fare hike by Rs 3 in auto rickshaws and Rs 5 in black and yellow (aka kaali-peeli) taxis. In the past five years, there has been no fare hike in taxis and auto rickshaws. Currently, the minimum fare in auto rickshaws is Rs 18 and the minimum fare in black and yellow taxis is Rs 22.
“If the state fails to come to any decision within two weeks, we will call for a long rally from Kurla to Hutatama Chowk,” Arafat added.
General secretary of Mumbai Taximen's Association Al Quadros also stated that the state needs to impose a fare hike at the earliest. "We have been urging the state to make the minimum fare in taxis Rs 25 at least. However, we have not called for any strike and our taxis will ply normally on the roads," Quadros said.