Leader of the Mumbai Autorickshawmen’s Union, Sharad Rao, has once again threatened to protest from June 18 to 20, demanding a hike in minimum fares for autorickshaws – from Rs. 15 to Rs. 25.
BEST employees, too, may join the protest as their demand for immediate payment of ex-gratia for the year 2011-12 has not yet been met by the BEST undertaking, Rao said. Commuters could be affected by this agitation as autorickshaw and BEST services would both be affected.
Citing the example of a fare hike for autorickshaws in Delhi, Rao demanded a similar hike in Mumbai.
Justifying the Rs. 10 hike, Rao said recently there was a Rs. 6 hike in minimum fares of autos in Delhi, which should be applied to Mumbai, too.
Last October, the transport department hiked the minimum fare of autos from Rs. 12 to Rs. 15 and there was a substantial hike of Rs. 3 for subsequent kilometres, as per the Hakim panel formula.
Rao criticised the transport department saying it had breached the promise by not implementing the Re 1 hike on May 1, as per the Hakim panel report. “If the government can go back on its promise, we, too, can demand a Rs. 10 hike for the minimum distance,” Rao said.
Rao said BEST workers and hawkers, too, would join the 72-hour agitation.