You will soon have to shell out more for your daily commute in autorickshaws and taxis.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority will decide on the recommended fare hike on Friday. While the Hakim panel had suggested a Rs. 3 hike on minimum fare, the state government has notified a Re1 hike for taxis and a Rs. 2 hike for autorickshaws.
The MMRTA will decide the final hike amount.
Meanwhile, taxi unions are firm on going on strike to oppose the state’s move, though auto unions have decided not to participate in it.
With the threat of the taxi strike looming, the transport department is in a fix over approving the fare hike.
Both auto and taxi unions have demanded that the fare hike be determined according to the current Consumer Price Index (CPI) – which is used to determine the cost of living component while determining the fare hike.
According to sources in the transport department, owing to related developments, the MMRTA is going to consider two possibilities – one using the CPI in March (which the state government has used) and the second in August (which the unions are demanding).
Transport commissioner VN More refused to comment on the CPI they would consider. “The MMRTA will take call on which values they should consider for calculating fare hike,” he said.
Justifying Rs 3 fare hike for minimum distance, Mumbai Auto rickshawmen’s union (MAU) leader Sharad Rao said, “The state government has calculated the hike based on the March CPI. If they use the August CPI, the fare hike will be Rs. 3.”
Mumbai Taximen’s union president Hussein Dalawai discussed the issue with chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who also holds the portfolio of the transport department.
“We told the CM that suggested fare hike for taxis is unjustified and said it should at least be at par with autos. The CM agreed to this.”
AL Quadros, union leader, said they will reconsider the strike call if MMRTA agrees to their demand for a fare hike. However, a few members of his union announced that they are not going to participate in the strike.