The state wide auto-taxi strike was coincided with the documentary screening and the panel discussion of Third Wheel which emphasized on deregulation of the auto rickshaw transport. The documentary screening & Panel discussion was organized by Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) at Chavara Cultural Centre on 22 Dec 2009 at 4:00 pm.
The documentary was prepared by CPPR, Prabodh, a youth group from Delhi and Liberal Youth South Asia (LYSA). It depicted the auto rickshaw drivers in Delhi. The main theme was the auto rickshaw transport and impediments faced by the auto rickshaw drivers. Auto rickshaws are the most dependable and demanding transport in the city. However this sector of transport is untouched and non progressive. The documentary was followed by Panel Discussion. The Panelists were Rangadasa Prabhu EDRAAC President, Sakeer Hussain Autorickshaw Union President, Sumesh media representative and Renjini Rajagopalan from CPPR. The moderator for the session was K.C Abraham, Retired Professor from Sacred Hearts College, Thevara.
The documentary was a starting reality and a ‘third eye’ to the dilemma of the auto rickshaw drivers. Panel Discussion focused on the plights of auto rickshaw drivers and their failure in emerging professionals in this informal sector. Age old restrictions and regulations those are stifling in the sector force them to poverty. Kerala is no different from other states. The grievances from the commuters against the auto rickshaw drivers are no less. No good drivers, fixing the fare according to the person etc. Sometimes there are reverse situations also. Majority of the auto rickshaw drivers are the owners. The auto rickshaws are bought for rent in most cases, wherein 4000 per day is given to the owners. Auto rickshaw running with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) will be introduced in the city soon. Inflation, price rise did not have any reference to the fare increase. Even though this sector is very significant mode of transport in the city, they are not effectively managed. Finally the discussion brought the initiative to form a Committee to scrutinize a change from the present scenario. This system has to be made competition driven otherwise this sector of working class will be forced to a poor livelihood.