Mumbai taxi union wants fare hike, threatens strike

They want the minimum taxi fare to be revised to Rs 20 from the current Rs 16

The Mumbai Taximen's Union has demanded a hike in fare following the increase in the price of compressed natural gas (CNG) and plans to call a strike if the authorities do not agree. The union said the hike in CNG price was uncalled for and will cause taxi operators to suffer heavy losses.

The union has asked for the minimum taxi fare to be revised to Rs 20 from the current Rs 16 and the fare for every additional kilometre to be increased to Rs 12 from the current Rs 10. It has submitted a proposal to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA) and the Regional Transport Office of the central zone at Tardeo.

"We had a meeting with MMRTA secretary Madhukar Jadhav today. He said our proposal would be discussed at the MMRTA meeting scheduled for February 24," said A L Quadros, secretary of the union. "If we don't get a positive response, we will start an agitation, including a strike."

Last week, Mahanagar Gas Ltd raised the price of CNG in Mumbai by Rs 1.63 per kilogram to Rs 33.10 per kilogram.

In 2010, the MMRTA had revised the minimum fare to Rs 16 from Rs 14. For every additional kilometre, the fare was raised by a rupee to Rs 10. The rates were revised after the price of CNG was increased by Rs 6.82 per kilogram.

Separately, the Sharad Rao-led Mumbai Autorickshawmen's Union plans to meet the transport department to ask for the auto tariff to be based on the consumer price index rather than CNG. "The fare is traditionally linked to CNG and the same formula applied for taxis is applied for autos. That should not be the case," Rao said. "The drivers' families don't eat and drink CNG. They are affected by the rising prices of other commodities too."

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