New Delhi: On Tuesday, a section of drivers that were working with car aggregators Uber and Ola went on a strike affecting various parts of Delhi-NCR. They demanded a fare hike and moratorium on the loan payment.
It is reported that later in the day, the striking cab drivers will assemble at Mandi House and press for their demands. This includes an extension of the moratorium on EMI payment till December.
Kamaljeet Singh Gill, president of the Sarvodaya Drivers Association Delhi also added that they will demand an increase in fares and also a withdrawal of speeding violation penalties.
Meanwhile, this strike has led to the unavailability of cabs in parts of Delhi-NCR including Greater Noida, Dwarka, and Uttam Nagar. This strike poses additional problems as this occurs in a time when IIT-JEE Mains exams are being held across the country.
This has posed a major challenge to commuters including students. Additionally, metro rail service is yet to resume and public transport buses are running at reduced capacity keeping in mind the social distancing norms.
The cab drivers had to take this drastic step as their appeals for help did not lead to any help or action by the government as stated by Gill to leading news daily.
Add on the acute financial crisis that came due to the COVID-19 induced lockdowns, many drivers are unable to pay their EMIs. Gill said that the moratorium of loan repayment had already ended and now the banks were putting pressure on them. They are now scared that the banks might even tow away their vehicles for not paying their EMIs.
Along with hiking of fares, their demands also include an increase in commission by the cab aggregators and that the fares should be fixed by the government instead of the aggregators.