7.5 lakh autos in Maha to be off roads from Apr 16



Mumbai: The Sharad Rao-led autorickshaw union today announced that 7.5 lakh autos will launch an indefinite state-wide agitation from April 16 for their demands, which include hike in the minimum fare.

"We want a new formula from the government. The CNG rates have gone up. It has become a losing proposition to drive an auto in face of rising inflation," Rao told PTI, announcing the agitation.

Rao's announcement came following the Bombay high Court recently upholding the state government's decision to enforce mandatory electronic meters.

The union leaders met at Parel here today to work out the modalities of the agitation seeking immediate hike in fares.

Rao said he would approach the apex court over the mandatory installation of e-meters, in an appeal against the HC order.

Rao's Mumbai Autorickshaw Men's Union had approached HC, seeking a withdrawal of the state?s notification of fitting mandatory e-meters from April 1 for three-wheelers.

The court had dismissed the petition, saying it did not find any merit in the plea.

Rao said his union would go on an indefinite strike from April 16 seeking a hike in the minimum fare from Rs 11 to Rs 16 and from Rs 7 to 9 for every additional kilometre.

He demanded a hike on par with the fare in Delhi (Rs19) and Bangalore (Rs 17). "We want the hike to be on par with these two cities. In Mumbai, the cost of living is not cheaper than that in these two cities so the autorickshaw fare should be also be similar to that of these two other metros, Rao said.

PTI