Hike effective from today; auto drivers not happy

The Regional Transport Authority (RTA) here has announced a 25 per cent upward revision in the auto fare, which will come into effect on Wednesday.

Accordingly, the minimum fare for 1.9 km is Rs. 25 as against the earlier fare of Rs. 20 and Rs. 13 for every km instead of Rs. 11 per km.

This was decided at the RTA meeting with members of the Federation of Auto Drivers’ Association here on Tuesday.

Other charges

The waiting charges for the first five minutes will remain free as before, but it has been hiked from Re. 1 to Rs. 5 for every additional 15 minutes. There is no luggage charge up to 20 kg after which there will be a charge of Rs. 2 per 20 kg. The maximum weight of the luggage that can be transported per passenger is 50 kg. Between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., the fare charged will be 1.5 times the meter rate.

High drama

The meeting saw high drama as the federation members said they wanted the minimum fare to be fixed at Rs. 30 and Rs. 15 per km, which the RTA officials rejected as unscientific.

Deputy Commissioner C. Shikha said they had apprised themselves of the demands of auto drivers, analysed the impact of the hike in the auto LPG price and the prevailing auto fare in Bangalore.

However, the federation members said the hike did not meet their expectations. Ms. Shikha told them the RTA had to also keep the public’s interests in mind before taking a decision.

She said various issues had been factored in while hiking the fare, including the hike in insurance premium, and there was no justification to seek a bigger hike.

On Monday, auto union members had called for a strike and more than 20,000 registered autos stayed off the road.

The federation had made several other demands, including provision of social security, benefits of various Central and State government schemes, and increase in subsidy to replace old vehicles.

‘Issues will be taken up’

Ms. Shikha said these issues would also be taken up. Ramesh Dubey (RTO West), Siddashetty (RTO East), Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Mahadevaiah, MCC Commissioner P.G. Ramesh and other officials were present.

Meanwhile, M. Lakshman, president of the Federation of Auto Drivers’ Association said they were unhappy with the outcome of the meeting and had apprised A.H. Vishwanath, Mysore MP.

He said that the MP had advised them to maintain status quo till January 9 after which he promised to convene another meeting to discuss their demands.

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