You may soon have to pay more to travel shorter distances by auto-rickshaws in the city.
According to the transport department’s proposal, which is likely to be tabled in the Cabinet meeting on Monday, passengers will end up paying for at least two kilometres of journey, even if he take an auto for a kilometre or so.
Auto-rickshaws currently charge Rs 10 for the first kilometre and Rs 4.50 for each kilometre travelled thereafter. Sources in the transport department said the base fare is likely to be increased to anywhere between Rs 15 and Rs 20. The metre will start ticking only after the first two kilometres of travel.
“With substantial increase in the base fare, the problem of auto-rickshaws refusing short distance passengers will be tackled,” said a senior transport department official, requesting anonymity.
Sources said the department has recommended substantial increase in the base fare but has suggested 40-60 per cent increase in fare for each kilometre travelled thereafter.
“We have studied fare structure applicable in 3-4 metro cities in the country and prepared our proposal accordingly. Since the auto-rickshaws will have to spend Rs 10,000-15,000 on installation of a global positioning system (GPS) devise and pay for its recurring expenditure, we have taken that into account while preparing our proposal,” the official said.
Meanwhile, various auto rickshaw unions threatened to strike work from Monday if the government failed to revise auto fares. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said their demand is genuine and is being “considered sympathetically”.
“The transport minister has been asked to finalise the proposal. We will ensure that the hike neither pinches the consumers’ pocket and also take into consideration demands of auto-rickshaw drivers,” she said.