Autorickshaw drivers hold strike against e-autorickshaws in Kozhikode
Kozhikode: Protesting against electric autorickshaws launched by the state government, a group of autorickshaw drivers under CITU is observing 24-hour long strike and satyagraha in Kozhikode on Monday. The auto drivers staged the protest demanding to make permit mandatory for e-autorickshaws too. Following the strike, numerous passengers who arrived in the city had to face trouble to reach their destination.
At present, 4337 autorickshaws are conducting service in Kozhikode. It is for the first time, such a huge number of autorickshaw drivers are protesting against e-autos in Kozhikode.
Apart from Kozhikode, the auto drivers in Kochi also observed a one-day strike.
“We are not against e-auto. But all these vehicles should be brought under the norms of permit,” said the auto drivers.
At present, e-autorickshaws are registered under non-transport vehicle category. Hence, the protesters demanded that such vehicles should not be taken for service in the city.
The auto drivers are staging a dharna in front of KSRTC bus stand here in connection with the strike.
As per the e-vehicle policy of the government, special permit is not necessary for e-autos to operate service. Following this, other autorickshaw drivers moved against the e-auto. They declared that the protest will be extended to other districts, if government is not meeting their demand.
At present, over 70 people have purchased e-autorickshaws in Kozhikode. Over 200 bookings are already done. But as the other autorickshaw drivers are opposing e-autos, the e-auto drivers have landed in trouble. Most of them purchased the electric vehicle by taking loans from banks.
“We are not able to conduct service due to the protest. So we are struggling to repay the interest of the loan,” said the e-auto drivers.