Shimla: Taxi drivers in Shimla are on a strike, for the third consecutive day now, causing a lot of commuting problems for tourists to this hill-station.
With the summer season in its last leg, the number of tourists though has gone down, but people who are still making it to Shimla, have been caught unaware about the taxi-strike and are unhappy with the administration and the taxi-drivers.
The taxi drivers have been demanding the withdrawal of the order that made it mandatory for them to install fare metres by June 27 and charge the tourists according to the metre only.
The government though has pressed state owned buses for the convenience of tourists, yet the taxi-drivers are stopping these buses too. The local taxi drivers are also not letting pass taxis from outside the state.
Many tourists had to spend their days either indoors or just roam on The Mall, for the want of taxis, and sight-seeing places like Naldehra, Kufri, Tatta Paani, and Chail remained secluded.
Ramesh Sanghvan, a tourist from Delhi, who was caught unaware about the strike, said, “We have spent so much of money and we didn’t have any clue about the strike. Our holiday has just got wasted as they are not letting us visit the sight-seeing spots.”
Another tourist, Karmakar Shah, from Ahmedabad, who has come along with his family – his wife and two children, and his mother – feels that the taxi drivers are just making their cause worse and this is sheer “gundagardi“. “When the government is trying to curtail their man-maani, they have become goondas. Who would trust them? We’ll have to beware and tell our friends as well.”
The administration though has deployed police at various places like the (Regional Transport Office) RTO Office and Dhalli and on the National Highway, yet tourists are facing inconvenience due to the taxi-drivers’ unrelenting attitude.