Auto union leader, Sharad Rao, on Wednesday, again threatened to go on strike during the monsoon if the minimum distance slab for auto tariff is reduced from 1.6km to 1km in the Hakim committee report.
“We are headed for a long battle after the Hakim committee report is out, if the minimum distance is reduced. The agitation will be held across the state during the monsoon,” said Rao.
The president of Mumbai Autorickshawmen’s Union demanded an increase in the minimum distance to 2km from 1.6km, and also asked for the minimum fare to be raised proportionately from Rs.12 to Rs.20.
If Rao’s demand is accepted, commuters will be forced to pay for 2km, even if they travel 1km or less. On the contrary, if the existing 1.6km minimum distance is reduced to 1km, the minimum fare will reduce proportionally and commuters travelling 1km or less will have to considerably less.
Rao demanded Rs.20 for a distance of 2km to compensate the alleged losses incurred by rickshaw drivers since 1993. “There has never been a dedicated formula or scientific survey for autorickshaw drivers. Since 1993, the taxi survey is forced upon auto drivers and they have suffered injustice,” added Rao. The Mumbai Autorickshawmen’s Union is also conducting scientific surveys for three-wheelers from May 16 to 18 in parallel to the survey conducted by the Regional Transport Offices (RTO).
“We will conduct the survey in a scientific format and in 12 hour shifts, as suggested by experts. Details like day-to-day expenses of auto drivers will also be included in it,” stated the union’s press release.