Demand rollback of hike in auto LPG prices

Autorickshaw drivers in the city have refused to recalibrate their meters in accordance with the recent revision of auto fares till the auto Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) prices are revised.

The fares were revised a couple of weeks ago and autorickshaw drivers have been given time till the end of March to recalibrate meters.

Autorickshaw drivers, who held demonstrations in different parts of the city on Wednesday, have demanded either a reduction in State taxes on auto LPG or a roll back of the hike in auto LPG prices.

General secretary of Auto Rickshaw Drivers Union, Rudramurthy, said the union had submitted a letter to the Deputy Commissioner (Bangalore Urban) and chairman of the State Road Transport Authority G.C. Prakash stating that they needed more time for recalibrating meters as per the revised minimum fare of Rs. 25 from Rs. 20 and Rs. 13 for every subsequent kilometre against Rs. 11 earlier. A similar letter has also been submitted to the Department of Weights and Measures, he said.

“As auto LPG prices may fluctuate further in February, we have decided to wait,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Prakash said if autorickshaw drivers do not comply, notices would be issued and a penalty would also be imposed. If the drivers do not adhere to orders after three notices are issued, licenses could be cancelled, he added.

Autorickshaw drivers claimed many passengers were hesitant to use autorickshaws due to the hike in the fare. They demanded a reduction in LPG prices, which had been hiked from Rs. 54.40 to Rs. 65.53 a litre on January 1, and a reduction in the Value Added Tax (VAT) imposed on fuel prices.

More than 150 autorickshaw drivers staged a protest demonstration from Bangalore City railway station to the Gandhi Statue near Anand Rao Circle on Wednesday. They said they would continue their protests for two days following which they have planned to petition the Governor.

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