The deputy commissioner of Bengaluru Urban, Manjunath, on Thursday, appointed a sub-committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police-Traffic (East) to come out with a report on revising autorickshaw fares in the city. The decision was taken after a meeting with representatives of auto drivers’ unions who aired their grievances.
Unions had approached the DC, who is also head of the regional transport authority, seeking a hike in fares. “Autorickshaw fares were last revised in 2013. We held a meeting with union representatives. A sub-committee has been formed to look into the issue. It will also seek public opinion on the issue and other issues, such as hike in fuel prices and operational cost, how other modes of transport, including taxis, impact auto drivers,” said Mr. Manjunath.
The sub-committee is likely to submit its report in a month.
Unions want the base fare increased to ₹40 and thereafter ₹18 per kilometre. At the start of the month, before the budget was scheduled to be announced, auto unions had taken out a rally from KSR Bengaluru railway station to Freedom Park demanding that the State government hike the fare.
Drivers pointed out that not only was business down because of COVID-19, but in the backdrop of the fuel hike, it was becoming increasingly difficult to meet daily expenses. Many also claimed that they could not claim the ₹5,000 that the government had provided, to cover the impact of COVID-19, due to stringent eligibility rules.