BANGALORE: Auto fares in the city will be increased by Rs 3 from Monday as a meeting between autorickshaw unions and representatives of the state government on Friday evening came to a decision to hike fares to Rs 11 per km from the previous rate of Rs 9 and Rs 20 minimum charge for 1.8 km, instead of the present Rs 17 for 2 km.
According to Manjunath, Secretary of the Adarsha Auto Taxi Drivers Union, a meeting was held in which the Deputy Commissioner M K Aiyappa, Transport department officials and officials from the Weights and Measures Department took part. “The meeting concluded at 6 pm and the decision to hike fares was reached,” said Manjunath.
Auto drivers had gone on a 6 am to 6 pm strike on February 28 demanding a hike in fares up to Rs 24 minimum and Rs 12 per kilometre.
Friday’s decision came after two rounds of meetings held between the unions and government officials failed. With the hike in the prices of auto LPG by Rs 3.31 in March, auto fare hikes were widely expected.
The DC had earlier stated that public opinion would be taken before any hike was approved and had constituted a committee which included DCP East B A Muthanna to file a report.
“They sought nine days time in order to reach a decision and the report has come out in favour of a price hike,” added Manjunath.
Muthanna had hinted at a possible rise on Thursday since the public had not raised many objections since a price rise in fuel was well known amongst them.
However, the news by auto drivers was guarded since many felt that people would use autos lesser with the new minimum fare.
“They should have reduced the minimum fare and hiked the rates per kilometre instead. Now, the people will not prefer using autos anymore,” said Nagaraj, an auto driver.