Maharashtra sets up new 3-member panel to decide on auto, taxi fare hikes

In the face of increasing criticism over the hike in autorickshaw and taxi fares, the Maharashtra government on Thursday announced setting up a new three-member committee to lay down guidelines to revise these fares.
HT Image
HT Image
Updated on May 21, 2015 10:34 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

In the face of increasing criticism over the hike in autorickshaw and taxi fares, the Maharashtra government on Thursday announced setting up a new three-member committee to lay down guidelines to revise these fares.

State transport minister Diwakar Raote said the committee, headed by a former high court judge, an economic expert and a former transport secretary, will submit a report in six months. This report is expected to replace the one-member Hakim committee report of 2012.

The Hakim panel report, which was accepted by the previous government in 2012, has so far dictated the fare revision of autos and taxis. The report has been challenged in the Bombay high court by the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.

The government’s decision is expected to bring down the cost of commuting by autorickshaws and taxis in Mumbai.

"Since the previous government accepted the Hakim committee report in 2012, there has been a 50% increase in fares of autos and taxis. This is unwarranted. The committee report has made way for a tariff hike every year. There are several lacunae in the committee’s formula," said Raote.

The minister, however, has not stayed the latest fare hike of Re1 for both autos and taxis announced by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA), as recommended by the Hakim panel. This fare revision is to be implemented from June 1.

"This fare revision cannot be stayed in the ambit of law, but it is temporary. It will be implemented only after meters are calibrated and until the new committee submits its report. I believe that if most autorickshaws and taxis are run on CNG and the cost of gas is less than petrol and diesel, these benefits should go to the commuters," Raote said.

He said certain parameters used to decide the formula for a fare hike seemed problematic, taking into consideration the cost of vehicles and interest rate for the loans. “The committee has considered an interest rate of 16%, when in reality it is much less — around 13.5% at the most. The cost of autorickshaws has been considered to be Rs 3 lakh, when in reality you can buy one for Rs 1.40 lakh," he said. Similarly, the insurance cover cost for the vehicles, consumer price index and basic distance guidelines all seemed to favour a hike, he said.

The government’s decision has also been spurred by the high court’s observation that the one person committee might not have been “a sufficient safeguard to ensure the process of rate fixing is scientific".

Senior officials in the government said so far, the scope and terms of reference for the new committee had not been thrashed out and formally rejecting the Hakim committee report would require a Cabinet decision. The state government will present this decision before the high court at the next hearing of the petition.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) declared the Class-10 results on Tuesday. (HT Photo)

    PSEB Class-10 results: Mohali rises in ranking, slips in pass percentage

    Even though Mohali district rose by two spots from last year's ranking in the PSEB Class 10 exams, its pass percentage dropped from 99.91% to 99%. Last year, Mohali was placed 17th among the 23 districts. This year, it improved its standing to 15th, with Gurdaspur district bagging the top spot. As many as 9,401 students from 109 Mohali schools appeared in the exams and 9,307 passed.

  • A pack of five atracurim vials, a paralytic drug used in anaesthesia, was lying near the doctor, with four of the vials empty, said Mohali police. (iStock)

    32-year-old doctor ends life in Mohali’s Phase 2

    A 32-year-old doctor allegedly ended his life by injecting himself with a paralytic drug used in anaesthesia at his rented accommodation in Phase 2 on Monday night. The doctor, who hailed from Rupnagar, was living alone in the rented house for the last three months and worked at a private hospital in Sector 34, Chandigarh. The autopsy will be conducted at the Phase-6 civil hospital on Wednesday.

  • On Monday, Kalyani had applied for bail before a local court. Her plea will be taken up for hearing on July 8. (HT Photo)

    Sippy Sidhu murder: Kalyani’s judicial custody extended

    A local court on Tuesday extended the judicial custody of Kalyani Singh, an accused in the murder of national-level shooter and lawyer Sukhmanpreet Singh, alias Sippy Sidhu. Lodged in Model Jail, Sector 51, since June 21, Kalyani, 36, was produced in court via video conferencing. On Monday, she had applied for bail before a local court. Her plea will be taken up for hearing on July 8.

  • Chandigarh administration had recently appointed 30 medical officers on deputation from Punjab, two from Himachal Pradeshand one from Delhi, while hiring none from Haryana. (HT)

    Haryana miffed over Chandigarh hiring medical officers from Punjab, other states

    The UT administration's decision to appoint 33 medical officers (MOs) on deputation from Punjab, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, and none from Haryana has not gone down well with the Haryana government. Highlighting its displeasure through a letter, the Haryana government has urged the UT administration to maintain the 60:40 ratio between Punjab and Haryana while filling up the vacant posts of MOs and dental surgeons. Till then, Haryana had not sent any panel of doctors.

  • The fee hike will not apply to students belonging to SC/ST and EWS categories. (HT File Photo)

    Panjab University senate okays fee hike for campus, affiliated colleges

    In a major decision, the Panjab University senate on Tuesday approved the proposed fee hike in its teaching departments, regional centres and affiliated colleges for the 2022-23 session. A 5% increase in fee will be implemented for students of the ongoing batches. The fee hike, however, was met with opposition by some senators. The fee hikes over the past years have never gone down well with students.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, July 06, 2022