Residents of Navi Mumbai will have to wait for another two months to get auto fare parity with Mumbai. Scarcity of CNG stations in the satellite city have been cited as the delay in the implementation of CNG-run rickshaw fares.
With only eight active CNG refill stations, implementation of CNG tariff is being delayed. "We had submitted a proposal to MMRTA in November last year. However, MMRTA did not implement it. Now, we have again submitted a feasibility report, hoping it will implement CNG rates.
But we are clueless as to when it will be implemented," said a RTO official who requested anonymity. Commuters along with a few NGOs have been demanding parity from the last few years.
"Complicity between auto unions and local politicians has prevented in getting CNG rates implemented in Navi Mumbai," said Ravi Srivastava, coordinator of India Against Corruption.
While the present minimum auto fare in Mumbai is Rs 11, which is calculated by considering the rate of CNG, passengers in Navi Mumbai pay Rs 15, which is calculated at prevalent rate of petrol. 80 per cent of autos in Navi Mumbai run on CNG, and they charge as per the tariff of petrol-run rickshaws.
"There was delay in implementing CNG rates due to some technicalities and due to the looming elections. However, we will be holding a meeting soon and a decision will be taken by March end, said N K Patil, member secretary of MMRTA.
However, auto unions have opposed the rates saying that it will rob them of their profits. Sunil Borde, President of Chalak Malak Rickshaw Ekta Union said "There are few CNG stations, so we have to travel about 3-4 km to refill the gas. We will agitate if MMRTA goes ahead with its decision."