The taxi strike on 30 July created a havoc in the capital. It was a day of anarchy and terror. Taxi drivers parked their cars randomly, gridlocking all main roads. This was a criminal act, proved by the fact that even ambulances were blocked. They did not even consider school children, who were sitting in their buses scared, parched and hungry. Many finally reached their anxious parents late in the evening. The six-hour strike also exposed police apathy and the inefficiency among the senior officers of the traffic department to sort out the mess. There is no information about how the Home Ministry has reacted to such incompetence. It has not yet made any enquiry or held anyone responsible so far.
The taxi drivers' demands were reasonable. They have the right to protest police harassment like weekly payoffs, seizing licences without valid reason, restricting entry of meter-taxis inside the airport and so on. They say they were forced to take harsh action when they were unable to get government attention. But the extreme step taken by taxi drivers last Friday was totally improper. It was especially unjust for people needing emergency medical treatment and care. Many sick patients were unable to reach hospitals. Nobody should be above the law when they break such basic norms.
Home Minister Purna Bahadur Khadga aspires to build a clean, compassionate and disciplined police force. He should start by removing the corruption inside the airport that has deprived taxi drivers of their livelihood. The police should be able to treat the taxi drivers humanely. The taxi drivers should also set a good example by punishing those who cheat passengers.