No hike in auto-taxi fares in Pune
With the State government approving the recommendations of the Hakim Committee's report, the new norms set for determining fares of auto rickshaws in the state won't burn a hole in the pockets of commuters in the city.
The report, which is due to be implemented soon, was approved on September 29, and the state transport ministry has sent a notification in this regard to all Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) in the state.
The recommendations made by the one-man Hakim Committee has been prepared using a logical formula considering the increasing fuel prices and other factors. Hence, in case of a fuel price rise in future, fare hikes will be implemented according to the Hakim Committee’s formula, which won’t allow auto-rickshaw unions to demand their own fare.
“We are preparing an action plan for the implementation of this report. There will be no change in the current fare structure,” said Pune regional transport officer Arun Yeola. The important provisions of the report have outlined the compulsory implementation of electronic meters, which is already an ongoing process, with the minimum fare fixed for 2 km instead of 1.6 km and after thereafter the distance for fare hike is fixed at 100 metre instead of 200 metre. “In Mumbai and Thane minimum distance is set at 1.6 km and then 200 metres. But in Pune, according to Hakim report, it is 1 km and then 100 metres.
From the commuter’s point of view, this report is very beneficial because it is a logically prepared formula,” said Vishwas Sahastrabuddhe, a civic activist. “After every fuel price increase, auto rickshaw unions demand an illogical hike and threaten to go on a strike. These threats can be avoided because the fare hike will be more transparent,” he added. Before the preparation of the report, suggestions were asked from various NGOs, commuter’s organisations and rickshaw unions. All NGOs based in the city had conducted a proper survey to formulate an ideal fare structure. Sahastrabuddhe was one of the representatives of NGO.
Bapu Bhave, president, auto-rickshaw federation, said, “We have not studied the report properly. Only after a proper scrutiny and discussion, we will able to commt. At this stage, I don’t think the implementation of this report will affect rickshaw drivers.”
Need for report
Government of Maharashtra, Home Department — vide Resolution no. MVR/Pra.kra. 966/TRA.2) dated 13th April 2012 — had appointed a one-man committee consisting of PMA Hakim, retired Secretary to the government of India, for the purpose of fixation of revised formulae for determination of the fare structures of taxis and auto-rickshaws in the State. The Committee has been asked to conduct consultations with the concerned stakeholders and submit independent reports within a period of three months.