Wednesday, July 28, 2010

From August 1, city auto rides will be costly

From August 1, city auto rides will be costly

Express News Service First Published : 27 Jul 2010 05:08:47 AM ISTLast Updated : 27 Jul 2010 11:34:05 AM IST
BANGALORE: Bangalore auto rides will now be the costliest.
The auto unions that met Transport Minister R Ashok on Monday have agreed for a Rs 17 minimum fare.
The fare per km has been increased by 50 paise to Rs 9 from Rs 8.50, which was announced by the government on Friday.
The auto unions that were threatening to go on an indefinite strike softened their stand after a meeting with the transport minister. The unions were demanding a minimum fare of Rs 20 with Rs 10 for every subsequent kilometre.
The auto unions, which till Sunday were adamant, were thankful to the fare decided by the transport minister on Monday.
“The minister convinced us that Rs 20 as minimum fare would be too much for the people,” said M Manjunath, president of Adarsh Auto drivers and Taxi drivers Union. “Since he has increased the fare per km to Rs 9, we are ready to go it.”
Another reason for the unions to have accepted the fare proposed made by the government was the decision to do away with the order on changing the three-part windshield to single glass.
“The minister said that he will do away with the order. Only new autos will be required to have the single glass windshield,” HG Srinivasamurthy, vice-president of Auto Drivers Union-CITU said.
The transport minister also said the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation will add 4,000 buses to its existing fleet of 6,000 buses to improve the transport scenario in the city.
Digital meters made mandatory
“This fare, of Rs 17 and Rs 9 for each km thereafter, have been arrived at after a detailed exercise of the economics of both the vehicles (autorickshaws) as well as the prices of petroleum products,” said R Ashok, the transport minister.
The new fares will be effective from August 1.
“I accept that the cost of living is going up every day and it is difficult to make both ends meet,” he said. “But we have to be fair to the common man also while fixing the fares.”
Ashok said digital meters have been made mandatory but no deadline has been fixed for it.
In a student-friendly move, the transport minister also announced that students will be allowed to use bus passes even on Sundays and public holidays.
ABVP clashes with BMTC
Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) clashed with the officials of the BMTC on Monday, demanding a reduction in the price of the bus passes issued to students.
The situation got out of hand when K S Vishwanath, city traffic manager, BMTC, tried to interfere. Vishwanath was pushed around by protesters, following which the police held four members who were later released.


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