Here is some relief for commuters. The recently announced Rs 1 fare hike for autorickshaws and taxis has been delayed by at least eight days.
Sources said the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA) was waiting to get the approval from the Bombay high court (HC) before allowing the tariff to be increased.
The MMRTA will, however, first need to approach the advocate general for his opinion.
“The controller of the legal meteorology department has been informed not to recalibrate the electronic meters from June 1,” said a senior official.
Another official said the HC will resume work after the summer vacation on June 8.
The Mumbai Grahak Panchayat had filed a PIL against the single-member Hakim panel and its report in the high court. As the matter is subjudice, the HC nod is necessary for implementation of the fare hike, the official said
Based on the Hakim panel’s recommendations, the MMRTA, a statutory regulatory body chaired by transport secretary Gautam Chatterjee, had recently approved the hike.
Following protests, the state government announced the formation of a new three-member panel chaired by a retired HC judge, to derive a new fare hike formula.
Unhappy with the government’s decision, the joint action committee of autorickshaw unions in the state threatened to protest against it on June 17.
Taking note of the matter, transport minister Diwakar Raote called an urgent meeting of transport department officials at the Mantralaya on Tuesday. Sources said the minister has asked the officials concerned to have a contingency plan in place to avoid any trouble to commuters.
Sources also said that Raote has asked RTO officials to take action against autos and taxis flouting the rules.