Free Press Journal

Auto, taxi fare hike coming?

CNG prices have increased from Rs 31.47 to 33.10 per kilogram.

Mahanagar Gas Limited has also increased commission for dealers from 87 paise to Rs 1.35 paise

POOJA DOMADIA Mumbai

Mumbaikars may have to bear an

other pinch of inflation with demands of auto rickshaw and taxi fares hike after the price hike in Compressed Natural Gas ( CNG) by Rs 1.63 paise. CNG price has been hiked from Rs 31.47 to Rs 33.10 per kilogram with effect from Friday midnight.

CNG price was hiked after the commission for the CNG dealers was hiked from 87 paise to Rs 1.35 paise by Mahanagar Gas Limited. ” It was almost decided that the fare would be hiked on January 2 at a meeting as we had declared to go on strike from January 3. But due to municipal elections, it was not announcement,” said Ravi Shinde, president, Petrol Dealers Association. As soon as the election results were declared, the price hike was declared too.

However, the hike would have a cascading effect on the auto rickshaw and taxi fares too. ” We would be proposing a hike of Rs 4 in the base fare of taxi raising it to Rs 20 from the existing Rs 16. We would also propose a hike of Rs 2 for each kilometre beyond the initial lap of 1.6 kilometre. We will approach the secretary of Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Transport Authority soon,” said AL Quadros, president, Mumbai Taximens Union. Currently the fare for this additional kilometre is Rs 10.

The fare hike is likely to take place, as the new fares would be considered in the formula to devise the fare.

Currently both rickshaw and taxi fares are being calculated on the basis of formula based on Hakkim Committee report. The formula is based on various factors like cost of fuel, maintenance, consumer price index, etc.

Auto rickshaw union would also put forth a demand for a fare hike. ” We had already demanded for a hike since long based on the increased maintenance cost due to CNG. We have also asked for preparation of a new formula based on Auto rickshaw trade enquiry committee to devise the rickshaw fare that would include maintenance cost,” said Thampy Kurien, president, Mumbai rickshawmens union.

” We will send a reminder letter to the state authorities on Tuesday asking them to take an urgent call on it considering the new CNG prices,” added Kurien.

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