Strike throws normal life out of gear
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Autorickshaw operators' three-day strike against the recent CNG price hike affected commuters and schoolchildren in Ahmedabad Friday. While some schoolchildren opted to bunk classes, many of the parents were seen ferrying their wards to and from schools.
Even as the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation increased the frequency of AMTS and BRTS buses, people in large numbers were seen waiting for buses at various stops across the city. The 72-hour strike was started Thursday midnight.
"We had no other option but to take a bus to and from school," said a student of Class VIII of Ankur School in Paldi. College and university students who commute on autorickshaws were seen hunting for options like buses or making their own arrangements.
"We had informed the parents a day in advance about the strike," said secretary of Ahmedabad School Vardi Association Rushab Kalal.
"The price hike in CNG is unjustified. This is another hike by the government in four months. Normally, the hike is around one or three rupees but this sudden hike of Rs 7 will result in a monthly loss of Rs 1,500 to an autorickshaw driver," added Kalal.
Another representative of an autorickshaw union, secretary of Airport Autorickshaw Union Mahender said out of around one lakh metred and shuttle autorickshaws in the city, around 80 per cent had supported the call for strike. Similarly, around 1,100 autorickshaws that ferry schoolchildren under All Gujarat Autorickshaw Driver Federation went on strike. As many as 160 AMTS buses on different routes passed from the railway station to help passengers coming to the city. Five AMTS buses were sent to different parts of the city via Gita Mandir from Maninagar station to help passengers, he said. Besides these, 825 buses were pressed into service on other regular routes.