As price of gas increases to Rs 33.10 a kg, auto, taxi unions demand a fare hike
Citizens just can't catch a break, as a day after the municipal election results were announced, they will need to prepare themselves to pay more.
The prices of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) used by 1.04 lakh auto rickshaws and 42,000 taxis in Mumbai have been increased from today.
Fare hikes: In view of the CNG price hike, members from the auto union
are seeking to meet officials from the State Transport department to ask
for a revision in fares. File pic
Prices of CNG have increased from Rs 31.47 per kg to Rs 33.10 per kg in the city whereas the prices of CNG in Thane would increase to Rs 34.05 per kg. An official statement from Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL), the company that provides CNG, said, "In view of the overall increase in costs of MGL over the last two years, MGL is forced to increase the price of CNG effectively from February 17 midnight."
And with the prices of CNG increasing, auto and taxi unions are also asking for a revision in the fares. "We are looking at a hike of Rs 4 in the fares. Initially, we had demanded for a Rs 2 hike but with the CNG prices increasing, we too, are demanding for a hike in fares," said A Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen's Union. If their demands are accepted, the minimum fare of taxis would climb to Rs 20 from the current Rs 16.
Similarly, the auto unions too are looking for a quick date with the state Transport department to demand a hike in fare. "We first want them to calculate the fares taking CNG prices into consideration," said auto rickshaw union leader Thampi Kurien.
Several auto and taxi drivers complain that the hike was timed right after the elections. However, MGL stated that there was no correlation between the events. "The last time, prices were increased was in June 2010. It has been nearly 20 months since a hike and keeping in mind the rising costs, we had no choice but to increase the rates," added a MGL spokesperson.