Bangaloreans, who are already burdened by rising prices, will have to shell out more for their autorickshaw rides. The minimum fare has been increased to `25 for 1.9 km and `13 for every km thereafter.
The new fares will come into force from December 20 (midnight of Thursday).
Deputy Commissioner for Bangalore Urban G C Prakash said the hikes were effected after numerous protests by autorickshaw unions. “The last fare hike was in March 2012. During this period, prices of various commodities have gone up. We felt the time was right for another hike. We held a few meetings with autorickshaw unions to come to a consensus on the hike,” he said.
Autorickshaw unions had sought a hike in the minimum fare from Rs 20 for 1.8 km to Rs 26 for the same distance and a hike in the per km fare from Rs 11 to Rs 15.
Manjunath of Adarsh Autorickshaw Union said the hike was necessary.
“Food prices have gone up, education fees have gone up, rents have increased. We were finding it hard to survive on the pittance we were getting,” he said.
The fare hike is, however, going to pinch the pockets of Bangaloreans.
“I will not be able to afford an autorickshaw ride anymore. I think the previous fare was reasonable. With both bus and auto fares being increased regularly, public transport is getting expensive. This will only mean more private vehicles on the road. And that’s never good,” says Aishhwariya Subramaniam, a telecom researcher.
“What is the point in increasing fares when autorickshaw drivers demand extra every time?” asks Reena Thomas, a school teacher.
“When auto fares were increased last time, we hoped they would stop demanding extra. But this has not happened. More often than not I have to pay an extra `20 to the autorickshaw driver to take me to any destination,” she said.
Manjunath, however, asserts that drivers with rig meters or workshops found tampering with the meter would be handed over to the police by the unions themselves. The union has also announced an ‘reward’ of `10,000 for anyone who alerts them of rigged meters or workshops tampering with meters. “If the complaint is found to be true, we will hand over both the workshop owner as well as the autorickshaw driver to the police and we will also reward the complainant,” he said. “People can call me on 9845155999 to place these complaints,” he added.
B Dayanand, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said strict action was being taken against autorickshaw drivers who demanded extra or tampered with meters. “This is an on-going activity,” he said.
Commuters can complain on the Bangalore traffic police’s facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/BangaloreTrafficPolice or call 25588444/25588555.
Rs 25 Minimum (1.9 km) Rs 13 (per km)