Consumer groups on Thursday demanded that the Hakim Committee conduct a scientific survey of taxis and autorickshaws' daily income before coming up with a formula to calculate the rates at which the fares will be raised.
The representatives insisted that the committee, comprising former union secretary PMA Hakim, study the daily run of taxi and autos, the paid run and the empty run to find out how much money they earn.
"The empty run plays a huge role in determining the fare structure. Currently, it is considered to be 20% and is included in cost of operations, which is part of the fare structure formula," said Shirish Deshpande, chairperson of the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat. He added, "Though the demand for auto and taxis has increased over the year, the number of vehicles hasn't increased. The empty run must have decreased."
"The committee should examine the cost of maintenance and operations that the unions are claiming. Also, the current mile system should be abolished and the fare should be on the metric system," said Sunil Mone, member, Santacruz Consumer Forum.
The consumer groups also requested that the committee to conduct more sessions to discuss the fare structure. "The earlier formula was formed in 1996 and has been used for more than 15 years. Therefore, the decision should not be taken iy haste or under pressure," said Deshpande.
Hakim said the committee was open to discussion with consumer groups and transport unions. "There are meetings on May 4 and 5. Similar surveys have been carried out in the past. The data will be considered. Improvement in quality of service will be my main focus."