iconimg Saturday, August 01, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, October 12, 2012
The public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the third hike in taxi and autorickshaw fares during the last one year would be heard on Friday. The Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP), a non-governmental body working for protection of consumer rights, has approached the Bombay high court challenging the hike.

Uday Warunjikar, counsel for the NGO, on Thursday, sought urgent hearing of the petition citing the effect of the hike on commuters.

He said that the Hakim committee report, based on which the hike has been approved by the authorities, has been challenged by the NGO. According to the NGO, the fare revision formula adopted by the committee is based on arbitrary, unreasonable, unsubstantiated and unrealistic figures, including those for insurance, taxes, repairs and maintenance and cost of living.

The hike has been approved under pressure from auto and taxi unions, states the petition. It also seeks to restrain the hike in fares till all autos and taxis plying in Mumbai Metropolitan Region switch over to electronic meters.

"The state has repeatedly succumbed to the pressure of the unions," states the PIL.

The MGP has also contended that the new fares were being brought into force without ensuring adequate infrastructural support for the changeover.