Jaipur woke up to a cab-less morning on Sunday as drivers of app-based cab services, called for an indefinite strike starting from Saturday midnight. The strike continued even on the third day (Tuesday), which threw normal life of Jaipur janta and tourists out of gear and later, Bharat Bandh on Monday added to their woes. The cab drivers a list of demands, including the installation of CCTV cameras in the cab for the security of drivers and customers, PF and ESI to all the employees, commissions to be cut from 25% to 10% and working hours be limited to nine hours. Drivers are also debating the policy of companies through which taxi-hailing companies have been given first priority to company-owned cars rather than driver-owned vehicles. We spoke to Jaipurites to understand the problems that they faced due to the cab strike.
‘ON MONDAY, I COULDN’T GO TO MY OFFICE’
Dhanushree Vyas, a second-year MA student at Manipal University, Jaipur, said, “Being a student, for me, the cab is a safe and economical way to commute within the city. On Sunday, due to the strike, I was forced to hire an autorickshaw from Bani Park to Bapu Nagar and return. It cost me around ₹150 whereas, a cab usually charges between ₹90 and ₹100. For someone like me, who gets limited pocket money, giving even ₹50 extra matters. On Monday, I couldn’t go to my office where I am currently interning. There were no autos. This coincided with the Bharat Bhandh stir, adding to our woes.”
‘I HAD TO GO FOR A SHOOT BUT COULDN’T FIND ANY CAB’
Trishnaa Singh,a Jaipur-based actress,said, “On Sunday, I had to go for a TVC shoot at 6 am, but there were no cabs due to the strike. The unit was staying in a hotel at Amer Road and from there they had to reach to some other location for the shoot.While I had to reach Amer Road from SFS Mansarovar, but no cabs were available. Finally, my dad had to drop me.”
‘HAD TO WAIT AT THE JAIPUR AIRPORT FOR MORE THAN AN HOUR’
HMA Nafiz, general manager at a city-based car showroom and resident of Jagatpura, was in Lucknow when the cab drivers in Jaipur went on an indefinite strike. When he reached the Jaipur Airport, he couldn’t find a cab. Nafiz said,“I landed at the airport at 9.15pm and was trying to book a cab to Jagatpura, both through Ola and Uber. Every time it showed,‘No cab available.’Then, I thought of booking a prepaid taxi but there was a long queue. Also, the prepaid taxi was charging just the double than what it usually charges. For instance, from the airport to Malviya Nagar,which is just a few kilometers away, they were charging around ₹400. For Jagatpura, they were charging ₹500-600. So, I called one of my friends to pick me up.”
‘IN THE ABSENCE OF CABS, AUTOS CHARGED EXORBITANT AMOUNTS’
Tourists, too, had to face a burnt because of the strike. Sheetal Dixit, who had come to Jaipur with a group of friends from Pune on Sunday,said that in the absence of cabs,auto rickshaws charged exorbitant amounts. “The pre-paid taxi service at the Jaipur Airport was inadequate. We had to wait for almost two hours to get a ride to our hotel.Since we were in Jaipur for only Monday and Tuesday, we didn’t want to sit back at the hotel. So we took an auto who charged an unrealistic amount for ferrying us. We could visit only Amber Fort and Jal Mahal on Monday due to no cabs on the roads and unrest in the walled city in the wake of Bharat Bandh.”
‘I HAD MY EXAM AND REACHED THE EXAMINATION HALL AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR’
Nayanika Poddar, a BBA student of University of Rajasthan and resident of Vidhyadhar Nagar, told us, “On Monday, I had to sit for an exam from 11am to 2pm. My father had already left for office in the morning and there was nobody to drop me at the examination hall. I couldn’t even find an auto rickshaw.I got nervous and that’s when one of my cousins came all the way from Raja Park to Vidhyadhar Nagar to pick me up and drop me to the examination hall. I reached at the eleventh hour and didn’t get any time for revision.”
There is no security for drivers. A few months ago a private cab driver was shot by a customer and no compensation was paid to him by the company. After which we collected Rs 2.5 lakh and gave to his family. There is no parking facility in the city and the number of vehicles is increasing every day and we are fined by the traffic police. No rules and regulations are being followed
ASHISH SINGH, AN OFFICE BEARER OF THE EMPLOYEES UNION OF UBER AND OLA DRIVERS.
News Courtsy: Times of India.