After cabbies, now auto unions want a Rs. 6 hike in minimum fare
Shashank Rao, leader of the Mumbai Autorickshaw Men’s Union, said that they want a fare hike as per the earlier Hakim panel formula that was derived in 2012 as the government has not yet taken a decision about the four-member Khatua panel report submitted in 2017.Updated: Jun 08, 2019, 04:19 IST
After taxi-driver unions raised their demand for fare revision, autorickshaw unions have now sought a hike of Rs. 6 in their minimum fare. If autorickshaw unions get their way, the minimum fare could get revised to Rs. 24 from the current Rs. 18 for a distance of 1.5km.
Shashank Rao, leader of the Mumbai Autorickshaw Men’s Union, said that they want a fare hike as per the earlier Hakim panel formula that was derived in 2012 as the government has not yet taken a decision about the four-member Khatua panel report submitted in 2017.
“The Khatua panel report is pending with the government. Therefore, the fare hike should be calculated as per the Hakim panel formula, which is still valid,” said Rao. He added that considering the hike of more than Rs. 9 in the price of compressed natural gas (CNG) price over the past few years, the fare hike is justified.
The Mumbai Taximen’s Union, one of the biggest taxi unions in the city, has already sought Rs. 30 minimum fare, instead of the present Rs. 22 for a minimum distance of 1.5 km. The union has warned of an agitation from mid-June if the government delays the decision.
For pressing their demand, a state-wide action committee of auto unions has called a meeting of their leaders in Mumbai on Sunday. “Despite the assurance, the state government has not fulfilled several other demands. Hence, a further course of action will be decided in the meeting,” said Rao.
Another state-wide action committee of auto unions — Rickshaw Kranti Sanyukta Kruti Samiti — has submitted their charter of demands to the state government. Besides a fare revision, the action committee made demands, such as to cancel the insurance premium hike, stop issuing new permits and launch loan schemes for auto drivers, among several others.
Presently, Mumbai has nearly 50,000 taxis and 2 lakh auto rickshaws. These are the main modes of transport for those who don’t want to travel on crowded trains, buses, Metro or Monorail. A government study suggested that nearly 8-9% of passengers use these modes of transport in the city.