Monday, July 26, 2010

Auto unions may settle for Rs18 as the minimum fare

Auto unions may settle for Rs18 as the minimum fare

Unhappy with new rates, they plan to meet transport minister today to demand further hike in the minimum fare

Aparajita Ray. Bangalore

Some autorickshaw drivers seem to be satisfied with the hike in fare announced by the transport department on Friday. But a majority of the members of the six auto drivers' unions in the city want more. The unions plan to meet transport minister R Ashoka on Monday to demand that the base fare be hiked further.
The department hiked the minimum fare from Rs14 to Rs17, and from Rs7 to Rs8.50 for every kilometre after the first 2 km. But most autorickshaw drivers have been demanding that the minimum fare be hiked to Rs20.
But, now, there are indications that the six unions are ready to accept Rs18 as the base fare. "We had demanded that the fare be hiked to Rs20 for 2 km, but the transport department has set it as Rs17," Manjunath, president of Adarsha Auto Drivers' Sangha, said on Sunday. "We are ready for a compromise if the department revises the fare to Rs18. We are asking for a fare hike because of the fuel hike."
On Saturday, about 300 drivers had staged a protest on MG Road, unhappy with the new rates. "However, some auto drivers from the various unions seem to be satisfied with Rs 17 as the base fare for the first two km," AS Mushtak, president of the Karnataka Rajiv Gandhi Auto Drivers Vedike, said. "They feel that the new rates are not only fair but also commuter-friendly," he said.

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