Autos to go off Delhi roads on Thursday, Friday (Lead)

May 18th, 2011 - 3:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) Thousands of autorickshaws in the capital will go off the roads Thursday and Friday to press for the demand that the government pay for global positioning systems (GPS) they have to install, a union said Wednesday.

Autorickshaw trade unions said they were not opposed to the GPS per se but they wanted the Delhi administration to bear the cost of installation — and maintenance.

With the government not relenting, some 55,000 autorickshaws will take part in the two-day strike, said Suresh Sharma, president of the Rashtravadi Janata Tipahiya Chalak Mahasangh.

The strike was supposed to begin Wednesday.

“We were supposed to go on strike from Wednesday but only two to three unions were ready. So we chose to start the strike from Thursday,” Sharma told IANS.

He said Thursday would not see “even a single auto on the streets”.

“We have no problems with the GPS installation. Our demand is that we should not be paying the annual charges of Rs.15,000 for the installation. The government should bear this cost,” said Sharma.

The government wants autorickshaws to be fitted with GPS to enable a two-way communication system that will help check speeding, route deviation and ensure commuter safety.

Despite the many accusations hurled at their drivers, autorickshaws form a key lifeline of the capital’s transport system.

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