Govt increases auto fare: Minimum Rs 13 to get a ride

The state government Wednesday decided to increase the minimum autorickshaw fare from Rs 12 to Rs 13. A release from state Transport Minister Nitin Patel's office said. It said the new minimum fare would be effective from February 15.

Though the autorickshaw operators also demanded a hike of 50 paise per kilometre from Rs 8.50 to Rs 9, the government release said there would be on hike in kilometre-wise fare.

"The fare increase has been brought into effect considering the opinion expressed by an expert committee that was set up in 2010. The committee recommended the increase because of recent price hike in fuel," the release further said.

Convener of autorickshaw unions Ashok Panjabi said they accepted the deal as announced by the government. "However, our demand for setting up of an autorickshaw operators welfare board is yet to be accepted by the government and we will continue pressing for the same," he said.

Surat autorickshaw unions to meet minister today

The state transport minister reportedly invited the representatives of autorickshaw union in Surat for a meeting in Gandhinagar on Thursday.

This comes after the union called for a 72-hour autorickshaw strike from Wednesday midnight.

All the autorickshaw operators remained off the roads in Surat city and the district Wednesday. After a sudden CNG price hike by Gujarat Gas Company Ltd, 18 small and big autorickshaw unions of Surat city and district had called for the 72-hour strike.

Among the most affected by the strike, parents of the schoolchildren were seen ferrying them to schools from early morning. With only option left for the commuters, the city buses were seen over crowded.

Media convenor of Surat City and District Autorickshaw Federation Irfan Kapadia said, "We have received a call from state transport minister in the afternoon. He has called us for a meeting at his office in Gandhinagar Thursday between 1 pm to 2 pm. We will request him for the reduction in the CNG prices. After the meeting we will decide our future course of action."

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