Mumbai: Kaali-peeli, autorickshaw drivers to protest against MGL for online refuel
Majority of taxi and autorickshaw operators do not hold smart phones, neither do they know how to operate them
Kaali-peeli taxi and autorickshaw drivers in Mumbai will protest against the 'high-handedness' of Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL) next week, alleging it has made online booking compulsory for them to refuel. Union leaders said many of the drivers are poor and cannot afford smart phones. Drivers plan to gather outside the MGL office at Bandra Kurla Complex on Thursday to voice their objections. But as per a note by MGL, drivers can also opt for sending an SMS to refuel.
Facility only at 3 fuel pumps
"A large number of taxi and autorickshaw operators under the banner of Mumbai Taximen's Union and Bombay Autorickshawmen's Union will protest against the mandatory online booking to fill CNG. The MGL has so far introduced a system to fill through online booking only at three CNG pumps in the city, and it will be gradually introduced in all the pumps," Mumbai Taximen's Union leader Anthony L Quadros said. As per the system, the drivers have to book a time slot to refuel their vehicle online, after which the fuel pumps will call them to do so.
"The problem is that there are more than 3 lakh CNG vehicles (taxis and autorickshaws) users in the city and the MGL has provided only 135 outlets so far. So CNG vehicle operators have to wait for hours together in long queues. MGL says they are introducing the online system to avoid these delays. But the problem is that a majority of taxi and autorickshaw operators do not hold smart phones, neither do they know how to operate them. Hence, we are opposing the system tooth and nail," Quadros said.
MGL says can also use SMS
An MGL note said they are implementing the e-token system on a pilot basis and that drivers have the option of booking their slot by downloading the e-token app or by sending a simple SMS with details of their vehicle number and a convenient time slot on a specified number. As per the MGL website, it provides CNG to 0.65 million vehicles (including public buses) in Mumbai, Thane, Mira-Bhayander, Navi Mumbai and beyond.
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