Auto-rickshaw drivers threaten agitation

The Mumbai auto-rickshawmen union has threatened an agitation in February, March and April if the state government fails to meet its demands of new permits, revival of dead permits and social security schemes for drivers.

The union held a rally Thursday near the office of the transport commissioner in Bandra.

"We are demanding revival of 18,000 dead permits and issuance of 1 lakh new permits to batch-holders. We also want the government to start pension schemes and provide medical facilities, insurance cover and the status of a public servant to auto-rickshaw driver," said leader Shashank Rao.

The union is joining a countrywide bandh called by Hind Mazdoor Sabha on February 20 and 21. If the government fails to meet its demands, the union will launch another stir on March 5, 6 and 7. "Even then if the government does not listen, we will agitate again for seven days from April 25," Rao said.

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