Contrary to the unions’ demand, the transport department is not too keen on reviewing the fares for autorickshaws and taxis.
Six months ago, the fares for taxi and autorickshaws were hiked by 35 per cent, according to the Hakim panel’s formula. “After the last fare hike, many people have switched to other modes of transport. Hiking the fares again would burn a hole in people’s pockets. It would also hit the drivers’ business,” said a senior RTO official.
In the wake of the taxi and auto unions’ demand for a fare hike, according to the recommendations of the Hakim panel, the transport commissioner’s office had carried out some calculations two weeks ago, said a source. The calculation showed a fare hike of less than 50 paisa, which suggests that there is no need for a hike.
According to sources, the panel had suggested a mid-term fare, in case of considerable change in factors such as CNG cost, insurance and cost of living. “So, the possibility of a mid-term fare hike is always there. But, there will not be a fare hike till May 2014,” he said.
The Mumbai Taximen’s Union said that in the absence of the high court’s stay, they will continue to insist for a fare review. “The committee had suggested the reviewing of faress in May every year and the government had accepted the demand. We have every right to ask for it,” said AL Quadros, leader of Mumbai Taximen’s Union.