As the deadline for the one-member Hakim committee to submit its report on restructuring taxi and autorickshaw fares approaches, the largest taxi union in the city, AL Quadros-led Mumbai Taximens Union, has resorted to pressure tactics to get a favourable tariff revision.
The committee of former union secretary PMA Hakim was formed on May 13 and given three months to file its report. However, a week before the July 12 deadline, the union has threatened a strike if its demand of Rs 3 increase on basic fare — from Rs 17 to 20 — and Rs 1.50 increase on subsequent kilometre — from Rs 10.50 to Rs 12 — is not proposed by the panel.
"We have not decided if it will be a one-day token or long strike, but if the proposed tariff rise is unacceptable then we will go on strike. We can't run the service in loss," said Quadros on Saturday.
However, it is not clear when the revised formulae and report will be implemented. "After approval, the government will issue a notification of bringing the formulae in effect. The regional transport authority will then decide the revised fare depending on the formulae. The process may a few days or months," said a regional transport officer.
The report is also being watched by citizen groups. Shirish Deshpande, chairperson of Mumbai Grahak Panchayat said, "It is not only taxi and automen, but even we consumers can be aggrieved if the increase is too high. In that case, we will take up the cause with the government."