The autorickshaw fare could increase considerably in the coming days as the one-member Hakim Committee appointed to restructure taxi and auto fare formulae is of the opinion that auto drivers should be compensated for the strenuous job of sitting in one position for hours.
While speaking to Hindustan Times, former Union secretary PMA Hakim said: “Considering the kind of work auto drivers undertake, of sitting hours in one position, they should be compensated for their hard work.”
A survey conducted by transport authorities has put some light on the working of taxi and auto drivers. On an average, the automen earn about Rs400 a day, of which Rs100 is spent on fuel. They also have to face various ailments as they have to sit in one position for long hours to drive the vehicles.
However, instead of relying solely on the survey report, the committee will also consider opinions from consumer groups and rickshaw unions before deciding the fare structure. “Both the consumers and rickshaw unions should keep faith in us that justified fare structure for both will be decided,” said Hakim.
Along with increasing fare, the committee has also insisted on improving auto service in the city. “We are taking required measures to improve the quality of auto services, like strengthening the existing laws for refusals, meter tampering, and so on. If needed, even the penalties will be increased. We are scanning the general complaints received by us and working on measures to minimise them,” said a senior official from the transport commissioner’s office.
The committee had last month ordered a survey of the average distance travelled and fuel consumed by taxis and autos so that the formulae to decide fare is more realistic. The transport commissioner’s office submitted its reports this week. A collective analysis will be made after transport offices across the state submit their reports, said the official.