The recent increase in the prices of CNG has prompted auto and taxi drivers to demand hike in fares. Over 80,000 taxis and a lakh auto-rickshaws in Mumbai on Tuesday went off the roads after a strike by drivers demanding hike in fares. The taxi union is asking for a hike in the minimum fare of black and yellow taxis from Rs 14 to Rs 16. Auto unions are demanding that the minimum fare for rickshaws be increased by Rs 6 to Rs 15 and Rs 8 for every subsequent kilometer. Rickshaws currently charge Rs 9 as minimum fare.
The Delhi Government on Tuesday hiked auto fares in the Capital. The announcement for increase in fares was made by Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely at a press conference. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had justified the decision, saying rise in prices of natural gas has left the government with no option but to heed to the demand of the auto unions for increase in fare. Lovely said apart from hike in CNG prices, the annual maintenance cost of autos has gone gone up by 70 per cent in last four years while the CNG prices have gone by 66 per cent during this period.
The minimum fare for auto-rickshaws will be increased from current Rs 10 for the first one km to Rs 19 for the first two km. Subsequently, the charge per km after the first two km will be Rs 6.50. Currently Rs 4.50 is taken per km after the first one km.