Himachal taxi operators call-off strike



Shimla: After talks with Himachal Chief Minister, Virbhadra SIngh, taxi operators in Shimla have called off their strike, which had entered the fourth day yesterday.

According to Madan Bansal, President, Joint Action Committee, taxi and Maxi Owners, “the Chief Minister has assured to reconsider the government’s order for mandatory installation of metres in taxis.

The strike had caused a major inconvenience to tourists to the hill-station, who were stranded either in their hotels or limited their activity to the Mall Road. Major tourists attractions like Kufri, Naldehra and Tatta-Pani saw little activity in the past four days. However, there were some tourists who had managed to reach Tatta-Pani via Mandi road.

While tourists who still have a couple of days left in their itinerary, have welcomed the taxi-operators decision, some are leaving Shimla “disgusted”.

“Our children’s schools are opening on Monday. So we have to go back to Delhi tomorrow (Sunday),” said, Uma Prabhakar, a tourist from Delhi, adding, “the decision (of calling off the strike) has come a bit late for us.” She along with her husband, three children in teens and extended family of her two brothers-in-law had been camping in Shimla for the past three days now.

Suryakant Prabhakar, Uma’s brother-in-law said, “We just kept waiting for the strike to get over. Else, maybe, we could have taken a bus to Manali and enjoyed there.”

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.

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