Auto union, CM don’t see eye-to-eye on tariff hike
The Sharad Rao-led union, the biggest union in the city with around 25,000 members, said it plans to make more demands and hold more agitations if their demands are not met with, following the meeting between Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and the auto unions on Sunday.mumbai Updated: Oct 10, 2011 01:36 IST
The Sharad Rao-led union, the biggest union in the city with around 25,000 members, said it plans to make more demands and hold more agitations if their demands are not met with, following the meeting between Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and the auto unions on Sunday.
At the end of the two-hour meeting, Chavan indicated that he is inclined to permit auto tariff hikes only once in two years. However, the NCP leader's union wants an annual tariff revision.
"We demanded a tariff hike in the first month of every year, but the CM said he was agreeable to hiking fare only once in two years. We will continue to demand an annual tariff hike," said Shashank Rao, assistant general secretary of the Mumbai Auto Rickshaw Men's Union, and Rao's son.
"We will also ask for intermediate hikes in case of steep hike in fuel prices," said Shashank.
Haji Arafat Shaikh of the Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena said: "With each hike in the fares, the commuter will suffer. I suggested that the government subsidise CNG prices to help commuters. The CM said he would ask a committee to look into it."
Shashank said his union does not have issues with electronic meters, but "we know that they too can be tampered with". "What is the point in having this meter if the sole reason for having it is not fulfilled?"
A technical committee will look into the union's concerns.
"The CM had a positive attitude towards many of our demands, we will wait for the minutes of the meeting to see the actual decisions," said Shashank.
Transport commissioner VN More said the transport department is mulling over the issuance of new permits, but there will be no change on conditions such as the need for a 15-year domicile for a driving licence. "I suggested scrapping the domicile certificate criterion for a driving licence, but the CM insisted on it," said KK Tiwari, Mumbai president, Swabhimaan Rickshaw Taxi Union.
More also said that share-autos would not mean no meters. "They will facilitate decongestion and reduce pollution," he said.