Guwahati, March 19: As Ola-Uber cabs go on an indefinite strike in all the major cities across the country on Monday, the cab owners and drivers in Guwahati have decided to support the strike but will render their services to the passengers ‘offline’ without using the application.
The strike is called by the Maharashtra Navnirman Vahtuk Sena, the transport wing of Raj Thackeray-led MNS in support of many demands. The strike was called across all the cities in the country where the cabs operate but the cab owners and drivers in Guwahati have decided to keep serving the daily commuters offline. Passengers can book a cab based on estimated fare but that will be booked offline and not with the help of the application that is usually used for booking a cab.
Leaders from the Ola-Uber association from Guwahati speaking on the issue stated that over the past few months they have suffered many problems and among these problems, the biggest one has been their income and operating costs. They added that they have started rendering their services to the people at a very low cost and when the auto-rickshaws were charging the commuters very high.
They further added that they started serving the commuters at a very low cost because the company promised them that they by doing so they will get a very good income but now they are not even getting enough money to keep their vehicles serviced.
One of the leaders added that they have come forward to support the strike call by the national unions but still keeping in mind about the problems the commuters would face, they have decided to carry on with their services offline.
He added that the drivers will serve the commuters even during the strike but not through the app which will be charged based on estimated fare. He added that there are very few cabs that are serving through the app as well but since there is a shortage of cabs and the demands are high, the fare will be very high.
Ismail Ali, president of the All Guwahati Cab Owners and Drivers Association stated that the companies when coming to Guwahati promised that drivers and owners a very high income with incentives but now they have stopped giving incentives which have affected both the owners and the drivers.
He added that since the companies’ decision has made it very difficult for the owners and drivers to survive, they were bound to protest. The cabs will run offline by keeping their devices off. The passengers can hire the cab just like they hire an auto-rickshaw from the streets.
He further added that since the fare will be based on the estimated price, the passenger will also be able to bargain with the fare.