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Amid rising fuel rates, Mumbai rickshaw union has demanded and warned a spike in the minimum auto fare soon.

This development came after the recent hike in the compressed natural gas (CNG) price, which led to operation cost increased by 1.31 per km. According to reports, with the latest price revision in the last week, CNG rates have increased to INR 72.00, while PNG is now retailing at INR 45.50 in the area.

If reports are to be believed the union has handed over the letter to the concerned officials and discussed it with them. They responded positively and assured us that as per the fare fixation formula, a future course of action will be decided soon, general secretary of the Mumbai Rickshaw Men’s Union was quoted as saying by FPJ.

Currently, the minimum fare of rickshaws is INR 21, and after the first 1.5 km, the fare at present is INR 14.20 per km.

Similarly, AL Quadros, leader of Mumbai Taximen’s Union earlier said that as per the Khatua committee report, after a 25 per cent increase in the fuel cost, the fare of taxis must also be revised. Hence a fare hike of INR 5 in minimum is needed. Currently, the minimum fare is INR 25 for 1.5 km.

Confirming the development, a senior officer of the transport department said, they have received the demand of fare hike by auto and taxi unions, and studying the issue, a final decision will be taken by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA).

On the other hand, however, leader of one of the major auto unions in the city, Shashank Rao, believes that said the government should provide CNG for taxi and rickshaw drivers at a subsidised rate. Increase in fare is not the perfect solution because it will affect the common man.

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