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Strike by Ola, Uber Drivers Hits Monday Commute Hard, Auto Drivers Cash in

Strike by Ola, Uber Drivers Hits Monday Commute Hard, Auto Drivers Cash in

In this file photo passengers risk their their lives as they travel by an overcrowded bus/PTI photo

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New Delhi: Commuters hardship in Delhi-NCR continued on Monday as the strike called by Ola and Uber drivers entered fourth day and the auto-rickshaw owners resorted to fleecing office-goers and travellers on the first working day of the week.

The drivers working with the app-based cab aggregators are protesting against "low fares" and "lacking" basis amenities their employers provide them.

The trouble for commuters began with the morning when they stepped out for their destinations on the first working day of week. During evening peak hours as well, no cab was available on Uber app at times while the Ola showed the availability as "low".

There were some routes for which taxis were available but the abb-based cab aggregators resorted to surge pricing.

Metro and buses witnessed increased riderships in the morning and evening peak hours. At airport, railway stations, ISBTs, people were not able to hire cabs through their smart phones.

Yesterday, out of six, five drivers unions withdrew their support to strike called by Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi (SDAD) which claimed it represents around 1.5 lakh of drivers in Delhi-NCR.

However, Ravi Rathore, vice-president of the Association, said he did not seek support from these five, adding his union will not call off strike until their demands are met.

Taking the advantage of strike, auto-rickshaws were fleecing commuters and were not ready to ply with meters.

"There were no cab of Ola and Uber available when I had tried to hire taxi through their apps outside IGI T-3. Finally, I had to take yellow-black taxis to reach my home in Gurugram," Sunita Sharma, who returned from Vijayawada in Andra Pradesh this morning, said.

Another commuter Ravi Thakur said the Delhi government should intervene.

The condition of Rathore, who has been on hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in favour of their demands since Friday, deteriorated in the afternoon and he had to be taken to hospital but was later discharged.

"We will not call off our strike until our demands are met. We demand that fares be increased from the existing Rs 6 per km to Rs 21 per km. 25 per cent commission by aggregators on every booking should also be stopped," Rathore said.

He said that representatives of union will meet Ola tomorrow and sumbit a written memorandum of their demands.

Rathore also said that app-based cab companies made "tall promises" to drivers-- like they would earn as much as Rs 1.5 lakh every month.

"But the situation is different. They are making us run taxis at Rs 6 per km while they charge 25 per cent from us and that should be stopped," he added.

Meanwhile, Delhi Pradesh (yellow-black) Taxi Union and Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh have already said they are not part of the strike called by drivers working with app-based cab aggregators.

"Due to app-based cab service, our business were getting affected and hence, we will not support them (drivers of app-based cabs)," a representative of Delhi Pradesh (yellow-black) Taxi Union said.

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