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Auto rickshaw return to Dimapur roads after day off

By Our Reporter Updated: Sep 11, 2017 11:23 pm
Students of SD Jain College are seen boarding a bus provided by the Dimapur district administration as a contingency measure following a strike called by auto rickshaw drivers on Monday.

Insists on charging fares prescribed in 2014; gives Dimapur district authorities 30 days
Staff Reporter
Dimapur, Sep. 11 (EMN): The ‘indefinite’ strike called by Dimapur autorickshaw drivers lasted a single day, even as the driver’s union on Monday evening called off the protest – forced, in no small measure, by the district administration’s refusal to blink.
The Dimapur District Autorickshaw Drivers’ Union (DDADU) had called for an ‘indefinite’ strike from Monday onwards to protest the new set of fare introduced by the Dimapur district authorities. In response, the district administration arranged six Nagaland State Transport buses and 150 taxis.
However, save for one or two, the taxis did not ply the roads; they were reportedly threatened by unidentified persons in more than one location to stay off the roads. Some private buses also went back after they received similar warnings early in the morning, it was informed.
Till afternoon, according to the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Dimapur, Sara S Jamir, the response from the public to the introduction of bus service was ‘great.’ She told reporters: “The buses are a hit today.”
By late Monday afternoon, the Dimapur district administration was making arrangements to introduce local taxis and private buses the next day and ensure their safety. The government’s stance was clear: we will continue to provide more means of transportation as long as the strike continues.
Till that period, the autodrivers were also unrelenting in their stance. DDADU officials, in the afternoon, told reporters that the strike will continue ‘indefinitely’ – though they would call off the protest later in the evening.
An official of DDADU informed through the phone that the drivers have decided to call off the strike after the district administration reportedly “agreed” to look into the DDADU demand of sticking to the rates prescribed by the authorities in 2014.
The official said that the drivers have decided to give the district authorities a period of one month to ‘look into it.’ According to the DDADU members, they had written to the authorities in May this year seeking increase in the rate of fare. They had also submitted their own “chart of rate” then.
However, they alleged, the district authorities had ‘ignored’ their proposed rates and recently announced new rates ‘without even consulting’ the drivers’ union. They pointed out that while their demand was Rs 40 per passenger from Railgate to Chumukedima, the rate listed by the administration for taxis on Monday was Rs 50 per passenger for the same route.
According to an official from the district administration, the authorities had held a meeting with the DDADU officials on Saturday last – even though it was a non-working day for government offices – in an attempt to arrive at an understanding.
The official also pointed out that every time the district administration introduces new regulations concerning autorickshaws and its drivers – installation of meters, uniform for drivers, limited passenger seating etc. – they have always refused to follow.

By Our Reporter Updated: Sep 11, 2017 11:23:19 pm