The Cabinet on Thursday approved the proposal to increase autorickshaw and taxi fares.

The minimum charge for taxi, which was Rs.60 for the first 3 km, stands revised as Rs.100 for the first 5 km. The rate for additional distance travelled will be Rs.9 a km.

The minimum fare for autorickshaw is increased from Rs.12 to Rs.14 (for 1.5 km). The rate per km will be Rs.8 a km.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media after the Cabinet meeting that the committee appointed to study fare revision had recommended a minimum charge of Rs.15 for autorickshaw. However, the Cabinet decided to limit it to Rs.14. Thereafter, the meter would go up by Rs.2 for every 250 metres travelled.

Doctors to be recruited

The Chief Minister said the government had decided to request the Public Service Commission (PSC) to recruit doctors through an emergency recruitment method in view of the shortage of doctors in government service. The rules would be amended for this purpose.

Quarry

Stating that quarry owners were on strike, Mr. Chandy said the Cabinet had decided to relax the Central norms for one year to facilitate continued functioning of quarries in the State. A law brought in by the Centre recently specified that a quarry should have an area of at least five hectares. There were difficulties in following this norm in Kerala, he said.

He said the Cabinet had approved the agreement reached between workers’ unions of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and the management for revision of wages and service conditions. The PSC-advised candidates for appointment in the KSRTC as coach builders, who could not be absorbed by the KSRTC in view changes in technology, would be given jobs elsewhere in consultation with the PSC.

Sports quota

The Chief Minister announced that 23 supernumerary posts would be created in eight departments for sportsmen since there were not enough posts to absorb all the 121 sportsmen to be appointed to government service as part of clearance of backlog in postings under sports quota.

He said the Cabinet had approved in principle a proposal to transfer the responsibility of supplying kerosene to fishermen from the State Civil Supplies Corporation to Matsyafed. The Chief Secretary would work out the details in consultation with the two agencies.

The Cabinet decided to extend the one-time settlement scheme of the Kerala State Housing Board till March 31, 2013. It also decided to revive taluk development committees.

A sum of Rs.55 lakh would be sanctioned for security and other measures at the Attukal temple in Thiruvananthapuram in view of the flow of pilgrims during the Sabarimala pilgrimage season.

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