While transport authorities are yet to ascertain whether or not to award a fare hike to the city’s auto-taxi trade next month, union leaders continue to build pressure on government authorities.
In October 2012, following the Hakim Committee report, the state had announced a tariff hike of Rs.2 and Rs.3 respectively for taxis and autos plying in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
One of the other recommendations of the Hakim Committee was to award an annual fare revision to autos and taxis on May 1 every year, because of the cost of living index and other such factors.
Subsequently, the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) had also filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court challenging the recommendations of the Hakim committee.
“We are yet to take a decision on the fare hike since we have been busy with the proceedings of the state assembly,” said VN More, state transport commissioner.
Although consumer activists said that a fare hike should not be announced since matter was sub judicial, AL Quadros, the leader of the biggest taxi union in the city emphasised on a fare hike on May 1, even if it was up to Rs1.
“Since we have challenged the Hakim Committee’s report including its recommendations and it is under examination of Bombay high court, authorities should not announce a fare hike,” said Shirish Desphande, chairman, MGP.
However, Quadros, general secretary of Mumbai Taximen’s Union said, “So far the high court has not ordered a stay on the implementation of the report. The only direction that has been received is that in the future, such a committee should not comprise one man and should include experts.”
Quadros added that in the absence of a stay order on the execution of this report, an annual fare hike on May1 was a must.
Shashank Rao, assistant general secretary of the Mumbai Autorickshawmen’s Union said, “We are calculating the proposed fare hike on the basis of a formulae suggested by the Hakim Committee. The proposal will sent to transport authorities by next week and it will then be their decision to approve it.”