East Khasi Hills District Deputy Commissioner Isawanda Laloo during a briefing on Thursday Credit: EastMojo

Shillong: The District Administration of East Khasi Hills on Thursday held a meeting with various taxi associations in hopes of resolving the ongoing ‘indefinite’ strike by taxis in Meghalaya over the revision of taxi fares and rise in fuel prices.

President of the All Meghalaya Commercial Vehicle Owner & Driver Union, Egenstar Kurkalang, said they have left it to the state government to decide on the revised fare structure.

“The last notification we received concerning the revised fare structure was in 2011. But during our meeting with the DC on Thursday, we were told about the revised fare structure, which was made in 2020,” Kurkalang told EastMojo.

Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills District, Isawanda Laloo, said the administration discussed issues concerning the revised taxi fares at length with the taxi associations present.

While the Meghalaya government came out with a revised notification of the fare structure in January 2020, the same was not notified to the public.

“The fare structure as per notification was not known to many when the government declared that original seating capacity will be re-permitted,” Laloo said.

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The DC said she has now shared the details with the associations so that they can come back with any possible improvements or proposed increase in fares.

“If there is any reasonable request that is fully justified and which we can consider as important, we will forward the same to the government,” said Laloo.

“The notification has not been made public yet. We have asked the DC to make the notification public so that there won’t be any misunderstanding between the passenger and driver,” Kurkalang said.

The All Meghalaya Commercial Vehicle Owner & Drivers Union consists of several taxi associations from various units like Rynjah, Smit, Sohryngkham, Lapalang and others.

Kurkalang said the union will wait for the government to come out with the notification before deciding to call-off their strike in light of the revised fare structure.

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The Meghalaya Joint Action Committee of Commercial Vehicles, who started their indefinite strike on February 3, has demanded that the state govt reduce fuel prices and cut taxes collected from the taxis.

The DC said the issue regarding fuel price hike has already been taken up by the government.

“The topic of today’s discussion was the revised fare structure which they were requesting. It has to be neutrally accepted by everyone where no one suffers any loss or be a burden to general public. The revised fare structure should be acceptable by everyone so that it is a win-win for everyone,” said Laloo.

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