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article imageDelhi Chief Minister makes promises to auto-rickshaw drivers

By Jody-Lan Castle     Feb 8, 2014 in World
Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, addressed the concerns of auto-rickshaw drivers at a rally in Burari on Friday.
Auto-rickshaw drivers have played an important role in the success of the Aam Aadmi Party, or the Common Man's Party.
Thousands of advertisements were posted on auto-rickshaws, leading the AAP to win 28 out of 70 seats in the Assembly elections in 2013.
The Chief Minister thanked them for their support and announced a number of changes to be made to ensure the welfare of the city's 80,000 auto-rickshaw drivers.
There is to be an annual fare revision of auto fares every April, so that fares will increase or decrease depending on the rate of inflation.
He also promised to relax the transport department's policy to make the installation of GPS in auto-rickshaws compulsory.
A driver on their way home may now refuse to take a customer, as long as they display a "no service" sign in their window.
Though some remained agitated over high CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) prices in the capital, the sole supplier of gas to the region, Indraprastha Gas Ltd, has today slashed CNG prices by around 30%.
In Delhi, CNG prices fell from around 50 Indian rupees (INR) per kilogram to 35 INR and in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad from 56 INR to 40 INR.
Delhi's chief minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses media at the venue of his sit-in protest in Ne...
Delhi's chief minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses media at the venue of his sit-in protest in New Delhi, on January 21, 2014
Prakash Singh, AFP
Police corruption
Many auto-rickshaw drivers have complained of being harassed and bribed by traffic police.
But Kejriwal says that traffic police will now only be able to seize auto-rickshaws if the driver doesn't have a license or the correct documentation.
Previously, police could seize an auto for reasons as little as the driver not wearing a proper uniform.
Many remain in opposition to this, accusing Kejriwal of undermining the authority of the Delhi traffic police.
Dealing with the misbehaviour or misconduct of drivers will now be out of the traffic police's hands, and will be dealt with through a complaints system instead.
Tweet from Arvind Kejriwal on corrupt police.
Tweet from Arvind Kejriwal on corrupt police.
Though support for Arvind Kejriwal and his party remains high, many are doubtful of the Chief Minister's aggressive approach to change.
It remains to be seen as to whether the Aam Aadmi Party's popularity will continue in the upcoming general election in India in May 2014.
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