Automen to strike on Sept 13, hike fares from next day | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Automen to strike on Sept 13, hike fares from next day

Citizens will be caught in the crossfire on September 13 as almost three lakh autorickshaws across Mumbai are expected to go off the roads to protest the government’s delay in implementation of Hakim committee’s recommendations.

mumbai Updated: Sep 09, 2012 01:07 IST
HT Correspondent

Citizens will be caught in the crossfire on September 13 as almost three lakh autorickshaws across Mumbai are expected to go off the roads to protest the government’s delay in implementation of Hakim committee’s recommendations. They have also threatened to charge fares suggested by the panel from the next day.

The one-member panel has recommended a Rs3 increase in the auto and taxi fares, which has been awaiting the government’s nod since two months.

“This time we will be agitating outside RTO offices in Mumbai metropolitan region outside the city, while in Mumbai it will be at the Bandra transport commissioner’s office,” said Shashank Rao, general secretary of Mumbai Autorickshawmens Union (MAU) after a meeting between rickshaw owners on Saturday evening. “There was near-consensus among almost all participants that if the government fails to implement the report, we will start charging fares as per the Hakim panel’s recommendation from the next day of the agitation. The auto owners have borne huge losses already,” he said. Meanwhile, consumer forums are opposing the proposed hike. Grahak Panchayat activist Shirish Deshpande met transport commissioner Shailesh Sharma on Friday and submitted a 19-page letter in which he said the recommendations are “lopsided, arbitrary, based on inflated and unrealistic cost prices, and against consumer interest”.

Commuters are unhappy with the development. “Public transport in city is already a mess and agitations like this add to the problem ,” said Sandeep Yewle, a resident of Navi Mumbai.