Delhi clears hike in auto, taxi fares (Lead)

June 21st, 2010 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) Already facing the heat of inflation and hike in taxes, now people in the national capital will have to shell out more for auto and taxi fares, with the Delhi government Monday clearing the proposal in this regard.
“We discussed a proposal on hike of fares in the cabinet meeting and approved it. Now, the transport department will announce the new rates in a day or two,” Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told reporters.

However, much to the relief of bus commuters, the chief minister said there will be no increase in bus fares.

According to a government source, commuters travelling by autos will likely be charged Rs.20 for first two kilometres and thereafter Rs.6.50 for each subsequent kilometre.

At present, autos charge Rs.10 for the first kilometre and thereafter Rs.4.50 for each subsequent kilometre.

Similarly, the tariff for taxis is likely to be increased to Rs.25 for the first two kilometres instead of Rs.15 charged for the first kilometre now.

The subsequent charges are also likely to be Rs.13 per km as against Rs.8.50 now.

Hike in fares of autos and taxis was a long-pending demand of the unions. However, following rise in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) price by Rs.5.60 a kg, the demand for the hike picked up and the unions threatened to go on strike Monday. But later the unions postponed the agitation saying they will wait for the government’s announcement till Tuesday.

The CNG prices was increased recently by the central government from Rs.21.90 to Rs.27.60.

“The likely increase in fares is fine. The new auto fares will help only the commuters who wanted to travel a short distance but auto drivers refused to do it. Now, with Rs.20 for the first two kilometres, they will be ready to cover even a shorter distance,” Ashok Kumar Tiwari, vice president of auto association Bhartia Tipahiya Chalak Sangh Congress, told IANS.

Earlier Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely held discussions with auto and taxi associations before the transport department came out with a fare hike proposal.

In run-up to the Commonwealth Games, the Delhi government has so far increased the registration fee for properties and road tax for luxury cars besides hiking circle rates for properties manifold.

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