Commuters would have to pay more to travel in autorickshaws in the New Year.
The government has decided to revise fares after 20 years in a bid to prevent overloading in autorickshaws. The revised rate — Rs 9 per km for autorickshaws — would be fixed by January 15.
According to the revised fare structure, travelling in an autorickshaw on the Patna Junction-Gandhi Maidan route would be dearer by Rs 3. The present per person fare is Rs 6. The fare on from Patna Junction to Ashiana Mor would go up from Rs 10 to Rs 24. On the Patna Junction-Kurji Mor route, the fare would go up from Rs 12 to Rs 40.
After the revised fares are introduced, only three people would be allowed on autorickshaws and six in tempos. At present, five people are accommodated in autos, and eight to 10 in tempos. The fares for the tempos are around the same as autorickshaws.
“The fares are being revised after taking into account capital investment, operation and maintenance costs and profit. The new policy will also introduce a mechanism for the revision of the fare structure. The autorickshaw drivers would have to display the fare chart in their vehicles,” said the source.
A senior transport department officer said: “A draft notification of the revised fare has been published inviting suggestion. These would be incorporated before the final fare structure is published. We are trying to publish it by January 15.”
Autorickshaw drivers’ associations in the city have welcomed the revision of fares but are sceptical about the implementation. “Despite frequent hike in petrol prices over the past year or two, autorickshaw fares were not revised. It was high time for a revision, as in the absence of fares authorised by the government, drivers and passengers charge and pay as they please,” said Raj Kumar Jha, general secretary, Bihar State Auto Drivers’ Association.
He added: “Revising the fare would not solve all problems though. Most autorickshaws in Patna do not have meters. If we are not provided with an itemised fare chart, it would be difficult to convince the passengers to pay the correct per kilometre fare.”
There are more than 20,000 autorickshaws on Patna streets.