The strike has been called by Maharashtra Navnirman Vahtuk Sena, the transport wing of the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). Protesting low earnings, the MNS transport wing claims that several drivers of these cabs are not able to cover costs due to the falling business.
Drivers in other major cities like New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune, among others, responded to the protest call, the union leaders had said.
In Mumbai, MNS leader Nitin Nandgaonkar broke windshield of a taxi which was plying in the city amid protest calls, news agency ANI reported.
"Ola and Uber had given big assurances to the drivers, but today they are unable to cover their costs. They have invested Rs. 5-7 lakh and were expecting to make Rs. 1.5 lakh a month. But drivers are unable to make even half of this because of the mismanagement by these companies," Sanjay Naik of Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena had told PTI before the strike began. Other taxi organisations, including the Mumbai Taximen's Union also lent support to the strike.
Due to a dearth in cabs on the road, commuters complained of long waits and surge fares, according to news agency Reuters. Social media users also posted about the strike. While one user said there was less traffic on roads, another complained of surge pricing.
@Uber@UberINSupport so Uber wants to loot people instead of helping them.there is a strike going on in Mumbai but Uber chooses to loot people through high fares.the below route should have a fare of around 100₹ but look at the cost now . pic.twitter.com/CX3iTIklNq— vibhav (@vibhav977) March 19, 2018
(With inputs from PTI, Reuters)