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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Auto rickshaws across the State stood off the road today as All Odisha Auto Chalaka Mahasangha began 12-hour strike in protest against government decision to hike in fee for registration, insurance and fitness certificate.

Communication is severely affected due to the day-long strike. As many as 30,000 vehicles joined the stir in Capital city.

Members of Bhubaneswar Auto Mahasangha staged a dharna at Lowe PMG and held a protest meeting. Members of Cuttack association, Chandikhol, Rourkela and other parts of the State also took part in the meeting.

The Mahasangha urged the Centre and the state government to withdraw the fee hike which it said will hit the drivers hard. “This is a fight for our daily bread and butter which is going to be hit by the government. When the State government introduced city buses, we had welcomed the move in the interest of the general commuters. But now the government is trying to block the autos in city area. We condemn the move of the government and we will intensify the agitation till our demands are met”, Bhubaneswar Auto Mahasangha general secretary said.

The agitation is peaceful across the State. “We have contacted our Association members outside Bhubaneswar to ensure that the agitation should be peaceful. We have also alerted all members to fully cooperate with emergency services”, he added.

Auto drivers stage a dharna in front of the Puri Railway Station forcing the tourists to walk to reach their destination.

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