Guwahati, Oct. 24: The latest fare hike for autorickshaws effected by the transport department has left both autorickshaw drivers/owners and commuters miffed, but for different reasons.
The transport department yesterday issued an official notification announcing the fare revision and the notification was circulated today.
The base fare for autos has been raised from Rs 10 for the first 2km to Rs 30. For every subsequent kilometre, travellers will have to pay Rs 15. Passengers will be charged Rs 3 for every five minutes if they keep autorickshaws waiting.
Those choosing autos for their travel between 10pm and 5am will have to pay 50 per cent more than the official rates, the notification said.
The new rates have become effective with immediate effect.
Unhappy with the fare revision, the All Guwahati Auto Drivers’ Union said they would not abide by it and demanded Rs 60 for the first 2km and Rs 30 for every subsequent kilometre.
The commuters, however, were of the opinion that Rs 30 for the first 2km is reasonable considering the fact that currently they are being charged minimum Rs 50 if they travel for even a couple of kilometres as autorickshaws here rarely run on fare meters.
“The official rate is of no use if the government cannot compel autorickshaw drivers to use fare meters,” Ritesh Choudhury, a bank employee, said.
Echoing Choudhury, co-ordinator of Consumer Legal Protection Forum, an NGO, Ajay Hazarika, said they had nothing to say against the fare revision only if proper facilities were provided to passengers, particularly use of fare meters.
There are around 4,650 autorickshaws in the city.
A transport department official said the Regional Transport Authority (RTA), Kamrup (metro) district, had cautioned autorickshaw drivers to charge fares according to the official rate chart and not to make exorbitant demands.
“The auto drivers will also have to display a chart of the revised rates in their vehicles,” he said.
According to him, hike in fuel prices is one of the reasons for fare revision. The new rates were fixed by a committee constituted by the transport department and it was approved by the state cabinet last month.
“Any violation in this regard will be considered as violation of permit conditions and appropriate action will be taken, which include cancellation of permits, against the violators,” he added.
The last time the auto fares were revised was in November last year.
The auto drivers, however, remained defiant.
The secretary of the union, Naren Pathak, said the new rates were unacceptable for them and they would put their demands before the RTA secretary on Monday.
“The revision was unilateral since the new rates were fixed without taking the auto drivers into confidence. If the government can hold discussions with the city bus owners before revising the bus fares, we fail to understand why they cannot do the same with us,” Pathak said.
He said they would not accept the new fares unless the government invited them for a discussion on this issue.
Fares for autos
raised from Rs 10
to Rs 30 for the first 2km
lRs 15 will be charged for every subsequent kilometre
lPassengers will have to pay Rs 3 per 5 minutes if they keep the auto
lTravellers will have to pay 50% more between 10pm and 5am
lNew rates effective from Thursday