Taxi strike from Wednesday midnight in West Bengal

July 14th, 2010 - 10:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 14 (IANS) The largest taxi operators’ union in West Bengal will go on a 24-hour strike from Wednesday midnight demanding a hike in fares to cope with the recent increase in fuel prices.

The association also threatened to pull out taxis from the streets indefinitely if the government did not meet its demand by July 30.

“We have decided to go on a token strike from Wednesday midnight to Thursday midnight as the state transport minister is not lending any ear to our demand. He has again asked for some time,” said Suman Guha, assistant secretary of the Bengal Taxi Association.

Now Rs.22 is the minimum taxi fare but if the taxi association’s demand is accepted then the commuters will have to shell out at least Rs.28 for a ride.

“It has become really tough for us to run the taxis as the expenses have gone up severely. If the fares are not raised it will be impossible for us to run the taxis,” said Guha.

“We will wait till July 30 and if the government does not meet the demands, an indefinite strike would be called,” he added.

The central government has hiked the prices of petrol by Rs.3.50 per litre. It also hiked the prices of diesel by Rs.2 a litre, kerosene by Rs.3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs.35 per cylinder.

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