Talks between the Delhi government and striking drivers of Ola and Uber on Thursday failed to break the deadlock even as the city administration warned of strict action against any violence.
Commuters had to pay astronomical fares as the strike called by Sarvodaya Drivers Association of Delhi (SDAD) entered its seventh day.
A section of drivers of the union may disrupt traffic movement in some parts of the city on Friday after their two leaders, who were on the hunger strike at Jantar Mantar since Friday, were admitted to RML Hospital in view of their deteriorating condition.
There was shortage of taxis on the capital’s roads during morning and peak hours on the seventh day of the strike. On Ola and Uber’s apps, there were unavailability of cabs at times and sometimes, fares were higher than normal.
SDAD vice-president vice-president Ravi Rathore, who was admitted to hospital, said that the union’s representatives on Thursday met Transport Minister Satyendar Jain, but the talks could not reach any conclusion.
“In the meeting, the minister sought time to address all their demands, but drivers were not ready to accept the offer. It has been seven days of their strike and that they did not want to give more time to government now.
“As I and our union president Kamaljeet Singh Gill are admitted to RML Hospital, we don’t know what our drivers will do on Friday. From our side, the strike is still on,” Rathore said.
Meanwhile, the transport minister has warned of strict action against those drivers indulging in violence, a day after striking drivers torched a taxi in Indirapuram.
“I will request Lt Governor to take strict action against drivers who indulge in violence which will not be tolerated at any cost,” Jain said.
Asked about commuters being overcharged by autorickshaw drivers due to the strike, the minister said that he appealed to all striking drivers not to overcharge passengers.
Thousands of drivers are on strike since February 10 in Delhi-NCR demanding an increase in fares from the existing Rs 6 per km and also want the 25 per cent commission the app-based aggregators charge on every booking be discontinued.
Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh and Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union have already cleared they would not support strike as their business was getting affected due to app-based taxi services.