After five months of dilly-dallying over implementation of CNG-based auto fare in Navi Mumbai, it now appears that by the end of this month, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA) will be able to enforce new fares in the city. Reason: talks between the MMRTA and regional auto union -- who are against the implementation -- are in its final stages, and both the parties are expected to reach a consensus soon.
Gross Mismatch: While the current minimum auto fare (Rs 11) in
Mumbai is calculated on CNG price in the city, in Navi Mumbai, the minimum
fare (Rs 15) is based on petrol prices. Representation Pic
While the deputy regional transport officer, Navi Mumbai, has been trying hard for the enforcement of CNG-based auto fare, several auto unions in the city have been opposing the move, saying that it will rob them of their profits. The unions had also cited the negligible number of CNG stations in the city.
MMRTA reportedly has decided to fix Rs 12 as minimum auto fare in Navi Mumbai. However, the recent hike in CNG price by Rs 1.63 has led the auto unions to demand further hike in the CNG-based auto fare.
Regardless of the fact that 80 per cent of autos in Navi Mumbai run on CNG, locals pay Rs 15 as minimum auto fare, which is calculated as per petrol prices. In comparison, the present minimum auto fare in Mumbai is Rs 11, which is calculated on the basis of CNG price in the city.
Commenting on hiking auto fare as per auto unions' demand, MMRTA said that its priority is the implementation of CNG-based auto fare in the city. Decision to hike it will be taken later.
N K Patil, member secretary of MMRTA, said, "We have been trying to resolve issues with the auto unions for the implementation of CNG-based auto fare in Navi Mumbai. By setting up enough gas stations, we have sorted out the issue of less number of CNG stations in the city.
Our priority is the implementation of the new fare in Navi Mumbai and most probably it will be implemented by the end of this month."
'We'll incur losses'
Sunil Borade, president of Rickshaw Chalak Malak Ekta Union, said, "For us, implementation of CNG-based auto fare will be unprofitable for various reasons. We will have to travel at least three to four km to fill CNG, as there are very few gas stations in Navi Mumbai. Besides, vehicle spare parts are costlier here than Mumbai. And the recent hike in CNG price is definitely going to affect our business once the CNG-based fare is enforced in Navi Mumbai. Hence, we want MMRTA to set the minimum CNG-based auto fare at Rs 13."
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