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Shillong taxis on stir demanding fare hike

By Raju Das

SHILLONG, May 18 � Over 5,000 striking taxi drivers, demanding fare hike, today literally held the State capital to ransom with commuters facing a harrowing time to reach their workplaces.

Taxis went off the roads here today leaving many commuters struggling to reach their work places, despite the government requisitioned buses.

Taxis form the lifeline of the communication system here with no other viable alternatives. Meghalaya Government is struggling to keep the city alive with requisitioned buses, however, it is proving inadequate.

�Altogether 50-58 buses from Meghalaya Transport Corporation, private operators and Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission have been pressed into service. There is need for more buses. We are holding a review meeting for additional requisition,� Transport Minister, Abu Taher Modal said.

The strike has been called by the East Khasi Hills Local Taxi Welfare Association (EKHLTWA) demanding increase in fares, after petrol price was hiked by Rs 5.

However, the Shillong Region Taxi Owners and Drivers� Association which promised that it would not be part of the strike also joined hands with EKHTODA and kept off the roads extenuating commuter-hardship.

Commuters on the other hand had different opinions on the strike. Some were visibly upset at the taxi driver holding the city to ransom, others were cheerful that the clogged streets got a breather for once.

�Its a pleasant sight, traffic is flowing so freely today. There is less pollution and the government-run bus service is doing just fine. Shillong must remain like this,� Dominic, an office-goer said.

However, others were sore with the taxi drivers for demanding additional taxi fare. �The taxi drivers� demand is just not right as their service is poor. The government must not succumb to such blackmailing tactics,� another commuter said.

The Transport department, meanwhile, has said that any taxi fare hike must commensurate the service provided. Mondal said, taxis must display tariff charts and all necessary details of the driver with photographs.

He also hinted that taxis might be asked to go back with the old passenger intake of four. Presently, the taxis are cramming in five passengers.

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Shillong taxis on stir demanding fare hike

SHILLONG, May 18 � Over 5,000 striking taxi drivers, demanding fare hike, today literally held the State capital to ransom with commuters facing a harrowing time to reach their workplaces.

Taxis went off the roads here today leaving many commuters struggling to reach their work places, despite the government requisitioned buses.

Taxis form the lifeline of the communication system here with no other viable alternatives. Meghalaya Government is struggling to keep the city alive with requisitioned buses, however, it is proving inadequate.

�Altogether 50-58 buses from Meghalaya Transport Corporation, private operators and Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission have been pressed into service. There is need for more buses. We are holding a review meeting for additional requisition,� Transport Minister, Abu Taher Modal said.

The strike has been called by the East Khasi Hills Local Taxi Welfare Association (EKHLTWA) demanding increase in fares, after petrol price was hiked by Rs 5.

However, the Shillong Region Taxi Owners and Drivers� Association which promised that it would not be part of the strike also joined hands with EKHTODA and kept off the roads extenuating commuter-hardship.

Commuters on the other hand had different opinions on the strike. Some were visibly upset at the taxi driver holding the city to ransom, others were cheerful that the clogged streets got a breather for once.

�Its a pleasant sight, traffic is flowing so freely today. There is less pollution and the government-run bus service is doing just fine. Shillong must remain like this,� Dominic, an office-goer said.

However, others were sore with the taxi drivers for demanding additional taxi fare. �The taxi drivers� demand is just not right as their service is poor. The government must not succumb to such blackmailing tactics,� another commuter said.

The Transport department, meanwhile, has said that any taxi fare hike must commensurate the service provided. Mondal said, taxis must display tariff charts and all necessary details of the driver with photographs.

He also hinted that taxis might be asked to go back with the old passenger intake of four. Presently, the taxis are cramming in five passengers.