Even as the state transport authorities are working on the one-man Hakim committee report on restructuring of fares, autorickshaw and taxi unions are resorting to pressure tactics to get their way.
Apart from carrying out a protest rally on September 13, the Sharad Rao-led Mumbai Autorickshawmen's Union has threatened that they will start charging commuters the revised fare from the next day (September 14) if the government doesn't take a decision.
"We are urging auto drivers in favour of the Rs 3 hike to participate in the rally. If there is no reaction by government, then we will decide whether we should charge tariff recommended by the Hakim committee on our own or not," said Rao.
"If auto drivers agree, we will give them tariff cards based on the committee report and start charging the additional amount."
Auto and taxi union leaders met state transport authorities on Monday to demand immediate implementation of the Hakim committee report, which has suggested that taxi and auto fare increase by Rs 3, from minimum Rs 17 to Rs 20 and Rs 12 to Rs 15, respectively.
VN More, transport commissioner, said, "We had called union leaders to know their views on the report. Apart from Rao, all city union have disassociated themselves from the September 13 proposed protest."
As for action against the protesters, More said, "So far we haven't received any written letter about the rally."
Other unions claimed they would give the government a little time. "Considering the urgency, the authorities assured us of expediting the fare revision process. Therefore we are not supporting the September 13 protest. However, if things don't work out till the end of the month, then we will protest on October 1," said AL Quadros, leader, Mumbai Taximen's Union.
KK Tiwari, president, Swabhimaan Auto-Taxi Union, said they were ready to wait even till the first week of October for the government to take its decision.
"But if it is not in our favour then will have to take action," he said.