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Maharashtra government for auto, taxi fare hike from July 10; awaits Bombay high court nod

Friday, 4 July 2014 - 6:35am IST | Agency: dna

The state transport department plans to implement the fare hike for autorickshaws and taxis from July 10, provided it gets the all-important permission of the Bombay high court for the move.

The July 10 deadline is part of the minutes of the meeting transport officials had with various transport unions on June 20, according to sources.

Both the government and the unions plan to approach the HC in the next couple of days to seek its permission to proceed with the fare hike.

The permission of the court is necessitated as it is hearing a petition challenging the previous hike that was implemented in October 2012 and the Hakeem Committee report which lays down the formula for fixing fares. The state's position is that any fresh hike should not be read as contempt of ongoing proceedings in the matter.

Thampi Kurien of the Mumbai Rickshawmen's Union told dna that his union would approach the HC on Friday on the fare hike. The union's argument for the hike is that the price of compressed natural gas (CNG) has gone up Rs5.90, from Rs33.05 to Rs38.95, since the last hike in October 2012. This is coupled with a rise in the cost of living and the expenses for maintenance of vehicles.

According to officials, it was decided at the meeting on June 20 to increase the auto fare by Rs2 from the flag down fare of Rs15 and Rs11.33 for every subsequent kilometre against the current Rs9.87. Similarly the minimum fare for taxis would be increased by Rs2 to Rs21.

The Hakeem Committee, which laid down the formula for calculation of autorickshaw and taxi fares, had recommended that the fares be hiked on an annual basis in May.

The hike would have to be justified by factors like the price of CNG, the cost of living index and maintenance costs for vehicles.

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