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Auto-rickshaw owners threaten 72hr strike from Dec 22

Staff Correspondent

Owners of CNG-run three-wheelers said on Wednesday that they would enforce a 72-hour strike in Dhaka city from December 22 if their 5-point demand was not met by December 19.
They made the announcement at a news conference organised by Dhaka Metropolitan CNG Auto-rickshaw Owners’ Association Unity Council at Dhaka Reporters Unity.
The council convener Barkat Ullah Bhulu said that at least 6,000 out of about 13,000 CNG-run three-wheelers now running in the capital city would not be allowed to ply the roads from December 31.
‘Then about 11,000 auto-rickshaw drivers will become jobless,’ he warned.
He also urged the authorities concerned to extend the lifespan of fitness certificates for CNG-run auto-rickshaws from 11 years to 15 years within December 19. ‘Otherwise we will enforce the strike between December 22 and December 24.’
The other demands include cancellation of a circular issued by the National Board of Revenue asking for Tk 2,500 as income tax per three-wheeler from the owners, stopping towing three-wheelers away with wreckers and stopping filing of cases by law enforcers without specific allegations and putting an end to police harassment.
The association leaders also demanded parking facilities, saying that no cases should be filed on charge of parking at undesignated points on the roads as there were not enough parking spaces in the city.
They demanded stern action against three-wheeler thieves and urged the government not to hike CNG price further.
The press conference was attended, along others, by Bangladesh Road Transport Workers’ Federation general secretary Osman Ali.
The authorities pressed four-stroke green-coloured CNG-run auto-rickshaws into service in 2002 to reduce air pollution. The authorities issued licenses for the four-stroke auto-rickshaws for nine years which had been extended by two more years.

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