In another move that will pinch pockets of Delhiites, the city government today gave its nod to increase in auto and taxi fares in the Capital following hike in CNG price.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit justified the decision, saying rise in prices of natural gas has left the government with no option but to heed to the demand of the auto unions for increase in fare.
"Because of the hike in gas price, the auto fare has to be increased. We discussed the issue thread-bare and decided to effect the hike. The new rates will be announced by the Transport Department either tomorrow or day after tomorrow," Dikshit said after the cabinet meeting.
Although Dikshit did not give the quantum of the hike, Transport department officials said the minimum fare will be increased from current Rs 10 (first one Km) to Rs 20 (for first two kms). Subsequently, per km fare after the first two km will be Rs 6.50. Currently Rs 4.50 is taken per km after the first one km.
They said the minimum fare for yellow and black taxis will go up from Rs 15 to Rs 20 for first one km while the rate will be Rs 12 instead of current Rs 8.50 for subsequent kilometre.
The fare of radio taxis which charge a flat rate of Rs 15 per km is likely to be increased to Rs 20, they said.
Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely is expected to announce the new fare structure for auto and taxis tomorrow.
The government's move comes after autorickshaw unions threatened to go on a strike after the Centre decided to hike the CNG rate.
They had been contending that since the price of the natural gas has been hiked five times in the past one year, they need a hike in the fare structure too.
The CNG rate in Delhi has gone up by Rs 5.60 per kg -from Rs 21.90 to Rs 27.50 per kg.
Last time, the Delhi Government had effected a raise in the fares of autorickshaws and taxis in 2007.
Officials of the Transport department held a meeting with the autorickshaw unions to finalise the fare structure and also told them to make sure that auto drivers comply with metres after the fare hike.
They also told the unions that GPS should be installed in all autorickshaws and sought their cooperation in this.
Rajendra Soni, head of the autorickshaw unions in Delhi, welcomed the government's decision and said the unions will make sure that metres are complied with.
"We are with the government on the issue of complying with the metres and will make sure that all autos are run on metres."