Autorickshaw drivers in the city have demanded a fare revision in the light of the increase in LPG prices.
Autorickshaw LPG prices were hiked by nearly Rs. 12 this month, and one kg of LPG now costs Rs. 62. There are over 70,000 autorickshaws plying in the city and of these, nearly 40,000 ply on gas.
Drivers are also irked by the fines charged by the traffic police. Thousands of autorickshaw drivers from various unions staged a protest in Chepauk on Wednesday, and traffic was affected on Wallajah Road for some time.
“The minimum fare for autorickshaws is Rs. 25, with Rs. 12 charged for every additional kilometre. But with rising fuel prices, we will not be able to earn anything if we charge as per the meter,” said S. Ashokan, a driver in Chintadripet.
Drivers said the minimum fare could be increased to Rs. 30 with Rs. 15 for every additional kilometre. “Earlier, I used to earn Rs. 400 every day after meeting vehicle expenses. Now, I only get Rs. 100,” said Mr. Ashokan.
J. Seshasayanam, general secretary, Madras Metro Auto Drivers’ Association, said they had asked the State to form a committee to revise fares as and when fuel prices increased. “This has not been done yet,” he said.
“The police charge a fine amount of Rs. 2,500 for even small violations. This will deter drivers from using meters,” he added.