Demanding a speedy implementation of the new Maharashtra City Taxi Rules 2017, the unions representing black and yellow cabs suggested fixing fares of app-based taxis to Rs28-30 for the first 1.5 km.
The unions deposed before the state appointed Khatua committee on Saturday evening. The committee, led by former bureaucrat BC Khatu, was appointed to review the earlier Hakim panel formula. Two of the biggest taxi unions in the city — Mumbai Taximens Union and Mumbai Taxi Association — presented their suggestions before the panel.
They asked that the Hakim committee formula be retained for deciding fares of ‘kaali-peeli’ taxis. They also suggested that fares for the app-based cabs be fixed between Rs18 and Rs 20 from the second kilometer.
“Ola and Uber companies have been cheating the public by charging Rs55 base fare plus Rs6 per kilometer fare and Re1 per minute duration charge along with 14% service charge during lean hours,” said AL Quadros. He added that during peak hours the app-based aggregators charge two to three times the usual fare amount.
Mumbai Autorickshaw Taximens Union too demanded that Hakim committee formula be kept unchanged for autos. They also asked that auto rickshaws be allowed to ply on the island city.
“After autos were barred from entering the island city, illegal app-based cabs took over the roads. We also want to provide public transport in the city,” said Shashank Rao, leader of the union.
The Khatua panel was formed to review the fare revision formula that Hakim panel had derived earlier to decide fares for auto rickshaws and taxis.
The formula worked out by former bureaucrat PA Hakim had fixed the fares by taking various factors such as fuel price, insurance premium, vehicle price and cost of living into consideration. The formula had hiked the basic fare charged by cabs and autos.
The new panel is supposed to review the formula besides deciding fares of the app-based cabs. Recently, the state introduced the ‘Maharashtra City Taxi Rules 2017’ for regulating app-based taxis and their fare surcharge. The new rule stated that the state transport authorities would fix the maximum and the minimum fares that they can charge their passengers.