Autorickshaw drivers feel that they should be on par with their counterparts in Chennai where the minimum fare is Rs 25. Citing rising fuel costs and prevailing tariffs in Chennai, autorickshaw unions have made representations to the transport department that the minimum fare be increased.
A transport department official said that of the two unions which have made representations, one wants the minimum fare increased to Rs 25 from Rs 20 for the first 1.8 km and a tariff of Rs 12 for each subsequent km, while another, associated with left-wing parties, wants a minimum fare of Rs 30 for the first two km and Rs 15 for each subsequent km.
Under pressure from the auto unions, there is a strong likelihood that the regional transport authority may increase the minimum fare by Rs 4 or Rs 5. The auto unions want the RTA to increase the fare to Rs 25 for the first two km and Rs 12 for every subsequent km. In Bangalore, the prevailing tariff is Rs 20 for the first 1.8 km and Rs 11 for every subsequent km.
Organising secretary of Adarsh auto and taxi union M P Kantharaju said, "We have given the requisition to the authorities after LPG and other prices increased drastically. In the previous month, LPG increased from Rs 50.38 to Rs 53.60 per kg. The price of autorickshaws too has increased from Rs 1.20 lakh to Rs 1.50 lakh, along with prices of accessories. Our demand is reasonable and does not burden passengers."
The RTA headed by the Bangalore district deputy commissioner has established a sub-committee to look into the matter. Members of the public have time till November 6 to email or post their objections to the RTO-West (Jayanagar), who is also the secretary of the RTA.
The official said, "While revising the fares, various factors have to be taken into consideration, like increase in the cost of fuel, wages of drivers, increase in the price of accessories, etc. There are over one lakh autos plying in the city and lakhs of Bangaloreans prefer to use this mode for shorter distances. We should also see that the revised fares do not burden passengers."
The last time autorickshaw fares went up in Bangalore was in March 2012 when the minimum fare was increased from Rs 17 to Rs 20.
Reproduced from Bangalore Mirror