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HC approves auto, taxi fare hike, but only if meters are recalibrated

Bombay High Court has approved a Rs 2 hike for auto rickshaws and taxis, but drivers can only charge the new fare after recalibrating their electronic meters

After the recent rail hike, other modes of public transport in the city are set to become costlier from today. On Tuesday, the Bombay High Court approved the Rs 2 fare hike for both autos and taxis. This hike will take the basic fare from Rs 15 to Rs 17 for autos and Rs 19 to Rs 21 for taxis. In addition, subsequent fares per kilometre have also been hiked.

The approved hike will take the basic fare for taxis from Rs 19 to Rs 21. File pic
The approved hike will take the basic fare for taxis from Rs 19 to Rs 21. File pic

However, according to senior officials from the transport department, drivers can only charge the new fares if their electronic meters are recalibrated with the revised fares. “We will have a meeting with stakeholders on Wednesday and will begin work on the recalibration as soon as possible,” informed an RTO official.

Satish Sahasrabudhe, transport commissioner (additional charge), said, “We have to recalibrate meters within 45 days.” RTO officials said they could expect long taxi and auto queues outside their offices, as drivers would be busy recalibrating their electronic meters. Even meter testing institutes would remain busy the next few weeks.

Advocate G Hegde, who represented the taxi and auto rickshaw union, said, “High Court has allowed the fare hike as per the Hakim Committee.” The union had also asked for a tariff card that can be used by drivers temporarily, but the court rejected their plea.

The division bench, headed by Justice Abhay Oka and Justice A S Chandurkar, made it clear, that based on the state’s assurance, only those autos and taxis, which have recalibrated their e-meter, can charge passengers with the increased fare. The court has also asked state to take action against drivers who attempt to fleece passengers, by charging them the hiked fares without getting their e-meters recalibrated.

The next step
>> RTOs will call for a meeting with e-meter manufacturers and calibrating institutes to discuss the plan of action
>> Auto rickshaw and taxi permit holders will have to recalibrate their meters at the RTOs
>> Once the new meters are tested by the RTO and stamped and sealed, drivers will be allowed to ply their vehicles with the revised fare

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