Saturday, September 27, 2014

Taxi driver associations say no to cooperatives

The transfer of ticket counters at taxi stands to cooperative societies has been protested by taxi driver associations. For now, they have decided to keep their protest in abeyance till 10 Oct when a mega-meeting is proposed to discuss the issue

Taxi driver associations in the state will now wait till 10 October before taking a decision on whether or not to go ahead with their proposed strike in protest against cooperative societies taking over their erstwhile positions in the taxi stands at the ticket counters.
The taxi drivers are protesting the decision of the state government to hand over the operations at the various taxi counters in the state to Cooperative Societies. In this regard, they had also threatened to call a statewide strike if this decision was not rolled back. It has been the taxi drivers’ associations which have been manning the ticket counters at the taxi stands all these years and it is no secret that it is a good business. It is not just the associations of east district, taxi driver associations of all four districts are united in their stand against this decision of the government, informed Kumar Thapa, Social Secretary, Main Line Taxi Drivers’ Association.
A meeting had been called in the office of the District Collector [East] on 24 September after which the aggrieved taxi drivers decided to wait till 10 October when, it is expected, a meeting will be held among the concerned departments and the drivers. It has been revealed that there was, in fact, a proposal put up to the government calling for the removal of taxi drivers’ associations from operating the ticket counters and allotting the same to cooperatives. Three state agencies had put up this proposal which include Motor Vehicles Department, UD&HD and the Municipal Corporation.
The taxi drivers are not just aggrieved at the decision of the government to hand over their business to cooperatives. Kumar Thapa informed that they are also aggrieved of the delay on the part of the concerned departments in renewing their registrations as taxi driver associations. The proposal for renewal had been put up to the departments for the renewal of their licenses to operate as associations but had yet to receive any response. Another demand put up by the taxi drivers’ associations seeks a ban on main line taxis operating without allegiance to any particular taxi stand. There are a number of taxis which operate to Siliguri and back and are not “registered” at any taxi stand. These taxis, according to Kumar Thapa, are detrimental to their business and need to be removed. In fact the demand is to have such taxis removed from the roads by 10 October as well.
The meeting of 24 September called by the DC-East Tsewang Gyatso was only to decide on another meeting, on 10 October, during which all the concerned agencies would be represented. The same set of grievances were also put up to the Chief Minister earlier and again on 26 September through the Principal Secretary, CMO. Earlier, the government had also proposed that the ticket counters be operated jointly by the cooperatives and taxi associations. This was rejected by the associations.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Readers are invited to comment on, criticise, run down, even appreciate if they like something in this blog. Comments carrying abusive/ indecorous language and personal attacks, except when against the people working on this blog, will be deleted. It will be exciting for all to enjoy some earnest debates on this blog...