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Will Auto Strike Last More Than A Day?

Autorickshaw drivers in the city will stay off the roads on Monday, January 6, in a protest against the rise in auto LPG prices.

Explocity spoke to a few Bangaloreans on how they're coping without the auto.

"Luckily my kids take the school bus. But for me, I will have to put off going to the bank and some other errands till tomorrow," said Amita Shetty, a resident of Koramanagala.

Fariha Munawar, a trainee coordinator, usually takes the rick to work. "I called my colleague who lives close by to give me a lift," she said. "I don't know why I didn't think of tagging along with him earlier," she added with a laugh.

"I have to carry my laptop to work and back everyday, which is why I avoid the bus. I had a really tough time while going to work on the bus this morning. I'm dreading the thought of standing in the crowded bus again," said Synthia Thomas, a studio manager at an advertising agency.

The Deccan Herald adds:

The strike by various auto unions under the aegis of Autorickshaw Drivers Organisations United Struggle Committee comes four days after the auto LPG prices were hiked. On January 1, auto gas prices were hiked by a whopping Rs 11 much to the dismay of the drivers.

The union members will also hand over a memorandum of demands to the chief minister. Adarsh Auto Drivers’ Union president Manjunath said: “We will submit a memorandum to the chief minister tomorrow (Monday). If our demands are not met, we will sit on a dharna in front of the chief minister’s office and will also court arrest if such a situation arises.”

One of their main demands is that the government should reduce VAT and other taxes on LPG for auto rickshaws. Further, they are demanding that government agencies such as the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and Karnataka Housing Board should provide houses to drivers of auto that are the City’s lifeline.

They also want the government to set up Autorickshaw Drivers’ Welfare Board to look into the issues of health security and other benefits for their family members.

The committee is seeking a meeting with the chief minister and the home minister on the issue of harassment of autorickshaw drivers by the traffic police. The committee also demands that they should be entitled for direct auto loans from the Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation.