Demand Rs. 14 minimum fare and Rs. 7 for every kilometre

HYDERABAD: The recent hike in auto fares in twin cities has not pacified autorickshaw unions. They are demanding a hike in the minimum fare from Rs. 12 to Rs. 14 and from then on, Rs. 7 for every kilometre travelled. The unions have threatened to renew strike if authorities do not give heed to their demand.

Leaders of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Telugu Nadu Trade Union Congress (TNTUC) and Telangana Auto Drivers’ Union (TADU), who spoke to media persons on Wednesday, said that they were “deceived” by Transport Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana, during the talks held on June 9.

“After the talks, we asked the Minister for a 10-minute break to discuss the issue. However, in our absence, the Minister and unrecognised persons, RTA brokers and agents declared that we had called off the strike. It was a unilateral decision. We did not accept Minister’s proposal,” said BMS State general secretary S. Mallesham.

The union leaders maintained that they would launch agitations and protests. “The auto fare hike is not commensurate with the increase in petrol, diesel and gas prices. The auto drivers also have families and they too have to face the inflation. The present rates are unacceptable to us and we will fight till we get our due,” said Mr. Mallesham.

The union leaders said that they were holding a series of talks with Civil Supplies Commissioner on this issue. “We are putting our demands once again and we hope that authorities will relent,” they said.