Leaders of autorickshaw unions demand revision of minimum fare

Prepaid autorickshaw counters at Mangalore Central Railway Station and KSRTC bus stand at Bejai are set to be re-opened again from Sunday.

Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada N.S. Channappa Gowda told presspersons here on Wednesday that the district administration would provide infrastructure facilities to the counters which would be opened on Gandhi Jayanthi. He said that manual receipts would be given to passengers till computerised receipts were ready.

Mr. Gowda said that a decision on opening a prepaid autorickshaw counter at Mangalore Junction Railway Station would be taken later. Earlier, Mr. Gowda, who is the chairman of the Regional Transport Authority, Dakshina Kannada, conducted a meeting with autorickshaw drivers in the city to hear their demand for the upward revision of travel fares.

At present, the minimum fare stood at Rs. 15 up to 1.5 km and Rs. 11 for the next every one km.

They said that upward revision was necessary because of the increase in fuel prices and spare parts.

The leaders said that there were about 25,000 families depending on earnings by autorickshaw drivers in the city.

Advocate Susheel Noronha, who represented the civil society, said many drivers were collecting excess fares.

They were demanding fares much more than the metered fare for travelling from KSRTC bus stand and railway stations especially early mornings and late evenings.

There were about 5,000 autorickshaws in the city.

Mr. Gowda said that the RTA would announce its decision later as it had to protect the interests of passengers as well as the drivers.

Labu Ram, Superintendent of Police, Dakshina Kannada, and Member-Secretary, RTA, and C. Mallikarjuna, Regional Transport Officer, Mangalore, and Secretary, RTA, were present.