The transport department has cleared the hike in the auto rickshaw tariff of rickshaws running on petrol, in the Thane region and in Navi Mumbai by Re1. The decision was taken as they failed to stop auto rickshaws beyond Kalyan and Vasai from rampantly over charging customers from mid-January onwards.
Starting February 10, the minimum tariff for auto rickshaws running only on petrol has become Rs14 from Rs13. The corresponding rate has gone up from Rs8 to Rs 8.50 per unit. The hike would come into effect at Kalyan and beyond, in the Vasai-Virar belt, entire Navi Mumbai except Mira-Bhayander and Thane city.
Officials from the Regional Transport Office (RTO) feel that they do not have sufficient staff to be part of the flying squads such a large number of auto rickshaws plying at these locations.
“Couple of vehicles and five-six men are not enough to monitor so many rickshaw drivers even if they have been overcharging,” said an RTO official on condition of anonymity.
The autorickshaw association has stated that they wouldn’t support any such drivers who have been overcharging the commuters. “We had indicated that we might go on strike if our demands were not met, but we are happy that in just two meetings our demand were met,” said Satam Mulani, President, Navi Mumbai Rickshaw Owners Association.
“The prices of petrol has increased and so the tariffs of petrol based autorickshaws have been hiked,” said Dilip Jadhav, Transport Commissioner.