Mumbai/Delhi: Thousands of daily commuters in Delhi and Mumbai will now have to shell out more as a steep hike in auto and taxi fares have been announced on Tuesday.
As per reports, autorickshaw fares were hiked with effect from Thursday in Mumbai and nearby Thane, with the possibility that taxi fares would also go up.
While the minimum fare has gone up from Rs.9 to Rs.11 for the first 1.6 kilometers, every subsequent kilometre would cost Rs.6.50, up from Rs.5 now, Bombay Autorickshaw and Taximen's Union president Sharad Rao said.
“This would nearly offset the losses suffered by autorickshaw drivers on account of the hike in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) prices”, Rao said, adding the new fares would help drivers earn around Rs.200 more a month.
The fare hike would affect 105,000 autorickshaws in Mumbai and another 35,000 in Thane district, said union general secretary Shashank Rao.
"However, this is an interim hike since we have demanded a minimum fare hike of Rs.15 at the base level. For this, a committee has been set up to examine the issue," Shashank told reporters.
Today’s flash strike affected lakhs of office-goers, students and passengers who faced a lot of trouble as autorickshaws stayed off the roads in the entire western suburbs.
The strike backed by various auto unions in Mumbai ended following an assurance from Maharashtra Transport Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil that all other legitimate demands of the auto, taxi drivers will be considered.
Mumbai auto unions have demanded the base price (fare for the first kilometer) to be increased from Rs 9 to Rs 11 whereas the taxi drivers want the minimum fare for black and yellow taxis to go from Rs 14 to Rs 16.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government today announced a steep hike in auto and taxi fares. For autos, commuters will now have to pay Rs.19 for the first two kilometres and Rs.6.50 for each subsequent kilometre.
The fare for black and yellow cabs has been hiked to Rs.20 for the first kilometre and Rs.11 for each subsequent kilometre. However, the fare of radio taxis has not been increased.
At present, autos charge Rs.10 for the first kilometre and Rs.4.50 for each subsequent kilometre.
"The government has asked auto unions to install GPS system, for which they would have to pay Rs.1,500 to the government. The GPS system has to be installed within a period of six months," Delhi Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said.
First Published: Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 15:44