From October 10, you will have to pay more to travel by auto. Less than 24 hours after auto drivers held the city to ransom by staging a day-long strike, the state on Tuesday approved a small hike in auto fare. However, this does not mean the indefinite strike planned from November 9 is off.
The basic fare of Rs 11 for 1.6 kilometres will not change, but for every kilometre after that, you will be charged 50 paise more.
Officials insist the hike has nothing to do with the strike. “The decision was taken on September 30. We were awaiting the approval of the transport secretary,” said MB Jadhav, member-secretary of the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Transport Authority.
The hike has infuriated commuters. “Even if the state was considering a proposal to hike the fare, what was the need to effect this hike immediately? This will send the wrong signal, that the state is bowing down to pressure tactics,” said Archana Adhav, an engineer who travels by autos daily.
Spotting an opportunity in the public anger against auto drivers, the Maharashtra Navnir-man Sena chief Raj Thackeray has threatened a people’s agitation against auto drivers from Wednesday, which will likely inspire his party cadre to take action against auto drivers.
“This is a minor hike. We want a revision of the formula to devise the fare,” said auto union leader Sharad Rao.