Its been just over a month since autorickhaw fares rose from Rs 9 to Rs 11, and now the autorickshaw unions has once again demanded a hike to Rs 19 as minimum fare.
Every subsequent fare will increase by Rs 10 per km. The union has also threatened to go on strike across the state on August 26.
At a recent meeting among the 41 autorickshaw unions across the state, the unions decided to fetch a fare equivalent to that in Delhi.
The reason, Even auto rickshaws in Delhi run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and that the state government there has agreed to their demands.
Sharad Rao, president of the Mumbai Auto Rickshaw Union said, “The cost is too high for the autorickshaw drivers to manage. In Delhi, they (state government) have gone into the economics after calculating the expense and income of the auto drivers, who also run CNG rickshaws with similar traffic conditions. So, we want the state government here to follow the Delhi model.”
Nearly 15 lakh autorickshaw drivers across Maharashtra have decided to go on strike on August 26 to voice their demands.
This was an internal meeting therefore no official communication has been made to the state transport department.
“We haven’t got any official communication from the unions on their new set of demands. If they are demanding this then they should also justify this demand with accurate facts and figures. We accepted their demands for hike in fare only recently, which they agreed to," said Transport Commissioner Dilip Jadhav.
Other officials in the Regional Transport Office and transport department found their demand unusual because it was based on a comparison between two metro cities whose geographies are different.
Since June 24, the minimum autorickshaw fare has increased from Rs 9 to Rs 11. They had demanded a minimum fare of Rs 15, but after negotiations with the state government, the union agreed to a Rs 11 minimum.