The CITU-affiliated taxi workers’ union, called off the 72-hour strike that theyhad earlier planned for 6, 7 and 8 August. The decision came following a meeting between various CITU-affiliated taxi unions and the secretary of the state transport department at Paribahan Bhawan.
The taxi unions, including Bengal Taxi Association, Calcutta Taxi Association, Progressive Taximen’s Union and West Bengal Drivers’ Welfare Association, had called a 72-hour strike, demanding immediate hike in fare and steps to prevent police harassment.
They had also asked for setting up government taxi stands in the city and earliest launch of online app-based services for yellow and other taxis, claiming huge losses due to hike in fuel prices.
In today’s meeting, according to Suman Guha, assistant secretary, Bengal Taxi Association, the taxi unions and workers association have been informed that the matter of fare hike will be discussed with higher authorities and an appropriate solution will be found soon. “We have been told that a meeting with the deputy commissioner of Kolkata Traffic Police will be organised this week with the co-ordination of the officials of the transport department to discuss the issues of the police harassment,” informed Mr Guha.
“Also, meeting with the traffic department officials will be held every two months, like it used to be earlier.” The taxi unions have also been told that the launch of the online app-based services, that was scheduled to take place during ‘poila baisakh,’ or Bengali New Year, will also take place soon.
On the issue of authorised taxi stands, the transport department officials have also pledged to take the initiative to set up government taxi stands in the city at the earliest. Another boiling issue for the taxi drivers that became the reason of protests by the unions was that the earlier practice allowing a driving licence holder to apply for licence of heavy vehicles after two years of issuance, had been scrapped about one and half years back. In today’s meeting the transport officials have indicated that the old norms would be brought back.