Udupi, Nov 19, 2019: Autorickshaw Drivers’ Association members November 18, Monday staged a protest against the self-driven bike rental and bike taxi operating illegally in Udupi and Manipal. As a result Autorickshaws stopped plying on the road from 6 am.
Udupi MLA K Raghupathi Bhat addressed the association members near the DC’s office on the occasion.
He said that the district administration and the RTO should seize such illegal rental bikes as more than 6,000 autorickshaw drivers eking out a living will face severe hardships.
Leaders from the autorickshaw drivers’ association urged the government to take action and prevent such vehicles from operating on the road. Some autorickshaw drivers even shouted against the association leaders and the legislator. Autorickshaw drivers’ and owners’ association Manipa resident Pradeep Poojary said that 6,000 drivers in Udupi district are dependent completely on running the autorickshaws.
He said that running autorickshaws had become redundant owing to the food delivery supplier start-ups like Zomato and Swiggy. “The RTO should seize two-wheelers that are being operated on a rental basis. If the district administration fails to take action, the association members will convene a district bandh,” he warned.
The MLA said that the firm ‘Bounce Company’ had not availed of any permission from the RTO or the district administration to run their rental business.
“The multinational companies through app are offering motorbikes on rent without availing of permission from the local officials. These
vehicles can be misused for unethical and illegal activities. The DC should take immediate action against such motorbikes,” he added.
Udupi Deputy Commissioner G Jagadeesh promised to take stringent measures against the company. “The motorbikes will be seized. If Bounce has availed of permission from the government, the district administration will be helpless. Already, nine Bounce motorbikes parked in Manipal were seized. The remaining motorbikes will be seized immediately,” he promised.
The RTO and City Municipal Council commissioner have been directed to seize such vehicles operating rental business without any licence, he added.
Following the assurance from the deputy commissioner the auto rickshaw drivers withdrew their protest. This indeed needs a comprehensive examination at the earliest.