New Delhi: The one-day strike called on Tuesday by a union of Ola and Uber drivers failed to disrupt app-based cab services in Delhi-NCR as commuters could easily book taxis throughout the day. Unlike the February strike which had hit the commuters hard for 13 days, most of Ola and Uber drivers chose not to
participate in the strike today, which was called by Sarvodaya Drivers' Association of Delhi (SDAD). The SDAD claims to represent 1.25 lakh app-based taxis in Delhi-NCR.
During the evening and morning peak hours, cabs were easily available on both Ola and Uber apps. However, companies resorted to surge-pricing on some routes. The SDAD has given a 10-day ultimatum to the Delhi government to act on their demands failing which they will go on an indefinite strike. "And this time, it will have a major impact on the operation of app-based taxis," Ravi Rathore, vice-president of SDAD, said.
Although the strike had no impact, he claimed around 50 per cent of cabs went off roads in Delhi-NCR. "Around 50 per cent of app-based cabs did not ply in
Delhi-NCR. We held a protest outside the CM's office in favour of our demands. We have given a 10-day ultimatum to Delhi government to accept our demands else, we will go on indefinite strike," he said. The drivers have been demanding an increase in fares from existing Rs 6 per km to Rs 20 per km. They also demand abolition of 25 percent commission the drivers are charged by app-based cab aggregators. The drivers also want the government to allow them to ply their taxis on the fares prescribed by the Delhi Transport Department.
Earlier in the day, around 50 drivers took out a protest march from Majnu-ka-Tilla to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence with their vehicles in North Delhi's Civil Lines area where they burnt his effigy. After the protest, some representatives of the union submitted a memorandum of their demands to the office at the CM's residence. Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh and Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union had already announced they would not support the strike. This was the second round of strike called by the drivers of Ola and Uber. They had gone on strike in February too, which had lasted 13 days, causing inconvenience to commuters in Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad.
Yesterday, the Delhi High Court had restrained SDAD and another drivers' union- the Rajdhani Tourist Drivers' Union - from disrupting services of cabs run by Ola and Uber in the national capital region.