In a chat with Delhiites, we find out the inconvenience they faced and whether the strike was justified or not.
One tends to associate a lot of words with the people living in the capital. But ‘baffled’ is not one of them as, for just 24 hours, the city’s roads had half the traffic as compared to other days. Why, you ask? It was because cab, bus, and auto-rickshaw drivers decided to go on strike because of the high penalty charges for breaking the law.
Recently, the Motor Vehicle Act — with the salient feature of charging people with hefty fines — was amended. With Delhi (or Dilli) being the city of dilwaalas, everyone here has an opinion in their ‘dil’. So, when cab, bus and auto-rickshaw drivers took to the streets to protest the government’s move to hike fines, city residents had a lot to say.
Chhavi Bakaria, an academician says that the situation was so stark that she was thankful that she could manage to find an auto, early in the morning. She feels that such strikes end up becoming a headache for those who rely on public transport. She continues, “Rules have always been there and what matters is the implementation and I feel the authorities are in the right for penalising those who do not follow
But, this is just one side of the coin. Kamya Jain, a college student is of the opinion that the hike in fines should have been lower than the existing amounts. She says, “It is impractical for an e-rickshaw driver, to whom the vehicle costs less than a fined amount like Rs 27,000. It is easy for a Rolls-Royce owner with deep pockets to handover Rs 5,000 and get on with their day, but a middle-class person may have to pay off the fines by redeeming his FD; it’s even worse for a lower class individuals whose family might have to sleep nights on empty stomachs.”
Upasana, a college student, is totally dependent on public transportation to commute. However, she does not agree with the demands of the transportation union because, “The rise in fines is due to the negligence of many auto-drivers and bus drivers, and if they cannot afford to pay the fine then they should be more aware and safe while driving in order to not get into the trap of hefty fines.” She feels that strikes are not a solution and daily commuters get affected a lot. “My exam got postponed as most of the college students and faculty members use public transport to reach college,” she shares.
Praveshh Gaur, a Delhi-based entrepreneur is of the opinion that an increase in traffic violation ticket charge is something that people have imposed on themselves. He explains, “This change in the Motor Vehicle Act was really necessary to create discipline. Every day while commuting we face people driving recklessly creating a threat to pedestrians and causing major chaos and heavy traffic on the road.” He expresses full support to the change but at the same time, adds, “I don’t support the
strike but appeal to the government to provide a limited time to the people to understand and be prepared for the new rules.”