Unions want 80% rickshaws to go the sharing way
Errands to the local market by rickshaws may soon be a thing of the past if all goes as planned. Tired of the continuous crackdowns on rickshaw drivers, union leaders have suggested to reintroduce the share-a rickshaw scheme across the western and eastern suburbs.
Following the crackdown by RTO officials against rickshaw drivers wherein they caught 97 drivers with fast meters and nearly 30 drivers for refusing fare in less than 12 hours, union leaders have suggested that 80 per cent of the auto services revert to the share-a rickshaw scheme.
This would mean that of the 1.04 lakh auto rickshaws in the suburbs spanning from Bandra to Dahisar and Sion to Mulund, more than 83,000 of them would only function on point to point basis.
Mumbai Auto Rickshaw Men's Union President Sharad Rao put the demand for the share-a-rickshaw forth yesterday. Explaining the move, son of the veteran union leader Shashank Rao said, "The option of running share-a-rickshaws across the suburbs is better than having electronic meters. This way the drivers will charge only a fixed sum and there will be no possibility to tamper with the meters."
However, sources in the RTO said that the reason for such a demand was based on monetary profits. "As per calculations, a driver earns 33 per cent more on a share-a-rickshaw basis. This is more feasible at select places such as industrial centres," said an official on the condition of anonymity. He added that the scheme also enabled drivers to ply without permits and driving licences as there is no mechanism to keep a watch on them.
Number of rickshaws that ply in the city
Number of rickshaws wanting to run on the share-a-rickshaw scheme