Auto-rickshaw owners in Dhaka, Ctg to go on strike from July 11Staff Correspondent
The CNG-run auto-rickshaw owners have called a 48-hour strike from July 11 in the cities of Dhaka and Chittagong to press home their 10-point demand.
They also vowed to go for sterner action in case the government failed to respond, leaders of the movement said at a press conference at the National Press Club in the city.
The Dhaka Metropolitan CNG Auto-rickshaw Business Owners Association organised the press conference.
The demands include increasing daily deposit to Tk 850 from the current Tk 600 per auto-rickshaw by the drivers, increasing the passenger fares proportionately, cancelling National Board of Revenue circular asking for Tk 2,500 as income tax per auto-rickshaw from the owners, stop towing auto-rickshaws away with wreckers by the law enforcers and filing of cases instead specifying the offences, stop police harassment, disposing of the private CNG-run auto-rickshaws in the dumping grounds of the city traffic authorities if they are found to carry passengers commercially.
They also demanded parking facilities, saying that no cases could be filed for the offence until there were enough parking spaces in the cities.
The owners’ association also demanded stern action against auto-rickshaw lifters and no price hike of CNG fuel.
The association asked for reduction in the fine for the offence of carrying passengers without
putting the fare metre on to Tk 700 from the current Tk 1500.
In another demand they said the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority should not allow any more auto-rickshaws on the roads of the capital until the High Court gave its verdict on the writ petition they [the association] had filed.
The BRTA, in its previous move, attempted to bring 5,000 CNG-run auto-rickshaws on the roads of the capital, besides the currently plying 13,000 and wanted the vehicles to be owned by people other than those currently owning such vehicles.
The move, however, was thwarted by the CNG-run auto-rickshaw owners who filed a writ in the High Court, demanding permission for owning the new auto-rickshaws.
Association general secretary Mohammad Faridul Islam Khasru said they would observe strike in the Dhaka city in July 11-12 if the government failed to comply with their demands by the time.
Association president Barkat Ullah Bhulu said expressing solidarity to their programme, CNG-run auto rickshaw owners in the Chittagong city would also observe the 48-hour strike in the port city.
He further said their submission of demands to communications minister Obaidul Kader on May 20 this year brought no results.
Bhulu mentioned that so far no progress was made regarding monitoring of the owners and the drivers after the association signed two related agreements with BRTA.
The association leaders also admitted to taking Tk 700 deposit per day per auto-rickshaw, a violation of the BRTA regulation that limits it to Tk 600.
‘As we don’t intend to take the money illegally we urge the authorities to meet our demands,’ Bhulu added.
The programme was attended, among others, by the association senior vice- president AK Mojnu and joint general secretary Mosharrof Hossian.
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