Consumer activists complain that the one-man Hakim committee has deviated from the state government’s terms of reference (TOR) while making recommendations for restructuring the formulae to arrive at taxi and auto fares.
In April, the government had asked former transport secretary, PMA Hakim, to devise a new method to revise taxi and auto fares. On July 27, Hakim submitted his report to CM Prithviraj Chavan, who also heads the transport department.
Activists allege that Hakim is biased towards the drivers, thereby being unjust to commuters. The protesters are now planning to meet Chavan, the transport secretary and transport commissioner to discuss Hakim’s recommendations and request them to not give the report their go-ahead.
“It was clearly stated in the TOR to recommend a minimum fare for 1km instead of the existing 1.6km, but Hakim recommends a tariff for 1.5km. The TOR was the mandate the committee was supposed to follow, the report violates its jurisdiction,” said Shirish Deshpande, chairperson, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, an umbrella organisation of several consumer bodies.
Deshpande also objects to recommendations that the night charge be increased from additional 25% to 30% of regular fare and the annual date of May 1 for fare revision.
“When there was no mention of night charges in TOR, why did Hakim committee recommend it? There was also no mention of annual fare revision in the TOR. The report, if accepted, will heavily burden the users,” he said.
Other activists said the recommended hike is harsh.