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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Commuters feel the pinch as auto fares go up steeply

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 01, 2013
First Published: 19:07 IST(1/5/2013) | Last Updated: 23:25 IST(1/5/2013)

Travelling in an autorickshaw is now going to burn a hole in your pocket.

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The Delhi government on Wednesday gave in to the long pending demand of autorickshaw and taxi unions to hike fares in view of the prices of CNG, which has gone up by 40% in the last three years since the last fare hike. Commuters, who usually find themselves at the mercy of Delhi’s rapacious autowallahs, fear the fare hike would only lead to even more overcharging.

“Every time the government increases autorickshaw fares, commuters are assured that it would take care of overcharging. The reality is, every time autowallahs start charging even more,” said Gautam Mukherjee, a government employee.“Travelling in an autorickshaw will now be out of a middle class family’s budget,” he said.

The Delhi government, however, claimed that with the unions demands now met, ‘strict action’ would be taken against autorickshaw drivers who overcharge, misbehave or refuse to go to any destination.

Delhi Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami said that passengers were being fleeced by autorickshaw drivers on the pretext that CNG prices have increased but fares have not. “Now that the fare is right, we will take strict action against autorickshaw drivers, who overcharge or refuse to go to a place,” he said.

“We have accepted their demands but that doesn’t mean there will be no restrictions on them. New autorickshaws are coming fitted with GPS and we will install GPS in old autorickshaws too, which would help us in tracking them,” he said. “Commuters should complain to us and we would definitely take action against erring autorickshaw drivers,” the minister added.

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