After the recent fare hike demand by Mumbai’s taximen and the possibility of a bus fare hike, it is the turn of autorickshaw drivers. The Mumbai Autorickshawmen’s Union, led by trade unionist Sharad Rao, has threatened an indefinite strike at the end of March if fares are not hiked.
The union has demanded an interim hike of Rs 5 for the first 1.6 km and Rs 2 more for every additional kilometre.
The minimum fare is currently Rs 11, and Rs 7 for every additional km after 1.6 km. Rao wants this revised to Rs 16 and Rs 9 respectively.
This means a commuter travelling a distance of a little less than 3 km and paying Rs 18, will have to pay Rs 25 if the government accepts Rao’s demand. “The auto fare hike should be based on the cost of living index [Patankar Committee report], instead of the taximen’s formula utilised currently,” Rao said.
Auto drivers also want transport authorities to go slow on their decision to make electronic meters mandatory.
On Friday, Rao filed a writ petition in the Bombay high court against the government’s directive to make electronic meters in autorickshaws mandatory from March 1.