Working professionals in Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad -- all satellite cities of Delhi -- faced a tough time due to the transporters strike in the national capital region on Thursday. Commuters had a difficult time finding taxis and cabs in Haryana's Gurgaon and Faridabad as well as Uttar Pradesh's Noida, as they were also impacted by surge pricing at some locations and a harrowing time going to Delhi, where private operators feared vandalism.
Several private buses, taxis and autorickshaws in Delhi-NCR remained off the roads on Thursday due to a strike called by the United Front of Transport Associations (UFTA) to protest against the amended Motor Vehicle Act, which has hiked penalty tariffs manifold.
"I found the cabs and autos without any surge pricing today in Gurgaon. But the cab driver in the morning told me they are not accepting rides to Delhi as there some people were smashing car windows. He was also talking to his friend on the phone and told him to come to Gurgaon for work today," said Mayank Agarwal, a data analyst in a private firm in cyber city.
Shivam Shrivastava, who works in a multinational firm in Gurgaon, said he was in Noida this morning for work but found it difficult to get a ride to Delhi amid the transporters' strike.
"Twice the cab drivers cancelled rides after asking me the destination, which was Delhi. The third one reached pick up point and then cancelled saying he can't go to Delhi because private cabs were being vandalised," Shrivastava told PTI.Daily commuters also experienced surged pricing in Gurgaon. "Usually I get charged around Rs 130 from my home in Sector 15 to office in Sector 43. But today the charges went up to Rs 180-Rs 200," said Rajat Binaykia, a data scientist.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Gurgaon, Himanshu Garg said there was no report of any untoward incident or violence related to the transporters' strike in the district. City Magistrate, Noida, Shailendra Mishra said 18 people, who had forcibly stopped private vehicles and taken away their keys, were arrested under CrPC Section 151 and taken in custody.
Some citizens in Faridabad had to opt for work-from-home also after they found it difficult to reach offices, while students in Noida also reached their colleges late for studies.
"Due to the strike, my shuttle service was not operating. So I was working from home," said Devaki Adhikari, a Public Relations professional and resident of Faridabad.
"A lot of students reached late for the class today. They said they could not manage to get a transport due to the strike while some had reached spending more than normal fares on auto," Avernita Srivastava, a teacher in a fashion institute in Noida, said.
Ankur Saxena, an advertising and marketing professional and Noida resident, said finding cabs remained a tough task for daily commuters. "Forget cabs to Delhi, it was impossible to get one to reach the nearest metro station also. I had to use a relatively new and less popular cab aggregator app to find a ride to the metro station, from where I proceeded for work in Peetampura, Delhi," he told PTI.