It’s a golden opportunity for Mumbaikars to present their suggestions/objections to former bureaucrat PMA Hakeem, who is heading the one-member Hakeem Committee for determining a new formula for calculating auto and taxi fares in the state today. Speaking to MiD DAY Hakeem said, “My job is confined to determining a simple formula that will help in calculating auto and taxi fares. Whoever wants to meet me can come (on Thursday) as their suggestions could help in preparing the formula.”

Formulating hike: Based on all the considerations, Hakeem would be preparing a new formula that will allow the state government in calculating fare hikes whenever necessary. Representation pic

Hakeem, who is in the city, had back-to-back meetings with several auto rickshaw unions from Mumbai, Thane (Vasai-Virar, Dombivli and Kalyan), Navi Mumbai and other parts of the state at Transport Commissioner office in Kalanagar, Bandra (E) yesterday. These unions submitted their list of demands and presented views on the need for time-to-time revision in fares.

A former Principal Secretary (Transport) back in the mid-nineties, Hakeem patiently heard the demands put forth by the auto and taxi unions, commuter organisations, among others. Based on all the considerations, he would be preparing a new formula that will allow the state government in calculating fare hikes whenever necessary.

Some of the parameters that Hakeem would be considering while preparing the formula are the average cost of vehicle, fuel (CNG and petrol), consumer price index, price of spare parts and ancillaries, among others. Once the formula is prepared, the state will then decide the periodicity of implementing the new fares. Sources in the state government have disclosed that fares will be revised every May.

The ex-bureaucrat also stated that while it is important that auto and taxi fares should be subjected to periodic hikes, depending on market conditions, the drivers should ensure that they impart quality service. “It will be impolite if a driver leaves or refuses a passenger without acknowledging him. There is a need for them to stop such practices,” said Hakeem.

Did you know?
It was PMA Hakeem who had formulated a calculation way back in 1995-96 based on which taxi and auto fares are being calculated in Mumbai

Fare formula
>> The first meeting started at 11.30 am, wherein auto unions from Mumbai and Thane, presented their views and list of demands
>> The exercise was repeated with unions from Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Sangli and other parts of the state post-lunch
>> Hakeem was accompanied by a couple of senior officials from Transport department
>> The new formula will be submitted along with a detailed report of Hakeem’s findings