Around 2,000 rickshaw drivers will participate in the protest on January 19
The state Transport Department has proposed to increase the official permit charges for rickshaws substantially, from the present Rs 200 to Rs 15,000 in cities. Upset auto rickshaw unions are planning to protest this hike on January 19 in front of the Transport Commissioner’s office at Bandra (E).
The drivers plan to protest at the Transport Commissioner’s office at Bandra East. File pic
“We will be protesting against the high permit charges proposed by the Transport Department. The permit winners won’t be able to pay such high sums, as they also need to buy new autos,” said Shashank Rao, leader of the Mumbai Auto Rickshawmen’s Union. This charge would have to be borne by those who won the lottery for 35,000 plus permits in Mumbai metropolitan region.
The Transport Department will begin the verification process for these permits soon, and for this, each RTO will have three windows. Transport Minister Diwakar Raote stated that the maximum time a lottery winner needs to come to an RTO for completing all formalities is twice. The unions also want the Transport Department to stop operations of mobile aggregators like Uber and Ola, unless the proposed policy of ‘City Taxi Scheme, 2015’ gets approved.