Transport Commissioner Dilip Jadhav said the new taxi and rickshaw fares would come into effect from June 24 and that factors like the hike in fuel prices and other costs were considered before new fares were okayed.
Have you agreed to the rickshaw and taxi unions’ demand for a fare hike?
We have taken notice of the demand. We asked the rickshaw union to scale down the demand to hike the minimum tariff to Rs 15. We mutually agreed on Rs 11 as the new base fare [for the first 1.6 km]. The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Transport Authority, comprising senior officials of the Transport Department, will officially approve the new tariff on June 23. The taxi fare hike would also be discussed and approved during this meeting.
When will the hike come into force?
We propose to implement it from June 24.
Weren’t the fare hikes demanded too high?
We have not accepted the rates demanded by the unions. The fare hike was imminent due to the rise in compressed natural gas price. We took factors like the present fare, hike in CNG and fuel prices, rise in maintenance costs and the time elapsed since the last hike into account before presenting the new fare structure.
Will you take action against the unions for going on strike?
We demanded that the strike be called off before starting the meeting. We made it clear that none of the demands would be accepted otherwise. We questioned the need for it, especially when the unions knew we were meeting them to take note of their demands.