Auto fares in Delhi hiked 18%, rides to become costlier from today
The Delhi government increased auto-rickshaw fares in the city on Wednesday by 18.75%. Transport minister Kailash Gahlot said the new rates will be applicable from Thursday even as fare calculating metres in about 95,000 registered autos in the city are yet to be recalibrated.
The government issued a notification on Wednesday, which will serve as a directive to the state transport authority which will now issue a public notice to inform people about the revised fares.
Under the revised rates, the meter down charge will be Rs 25 for the first 1.5 km, instead of existing 2 km. The per km charge has been increased from existing Rs 8 to Rs 9.5, which is a hike of around 18.75%.
The notification introduces waiting charge at the rate of Rs 0.75 per minute if an auto is caught up at a traffic signal. Luggage charges and night charges have been kept the same.
While announcing the notification, the minister claimed that despite the increase in rates, auto fares in Delhi are still lower than “other metro cities”. The government, however, provided a cost comparison only between Mumbai and Delhi. “With this, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has fulfilled yet another key poll promise made by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) during the 2015 assembly elections,” he said. Fares of auto-rickshaws were last increased in 2013.
Gahlot said recalibration of fare meters will be undertaken in batches.
“Till then auto-drivers can keep a chart of the revised fares to show to passengers. Tomorrow onwards, if an auto
driver asks for more money based on the revised fares, a passenger will have to comply,” he said.
On Wednesday, Hindustan Times reported that the transport minister had directed his department to notify the revised rates at the earliest. The report also stated how the notification got the clearance from the law department with its former principal secretary Sanjay Garg citing that the Lieutenant Governor’s approval was not needed in all decisions.
The move comes ahead of the Assembly elections in Delhi that are scheduled early next year. A key vote base of the Kejriwal-led party, auto-rickshaw drivers, according to a senior AAP functionary, had as much as 50% contribution to the votes that the party won during the Assembly polls in 2015.