The recalibration process of the meters will be started from today
Mumbai : The Bombay High Court cleared the deck for the implementation of the auto and taxi fare hike on Wednesday, after it refused to interfere with the state government’s decision of implementing the same.
This means that commuters will be charged a minimum of Rs 18 for an auto ride and Rs 22 for a taxi ride once the meters are recalibrated. While the court stated that the recalibration process of the meters can be started from June 25, the union leaders are apprehensive about it.
The general secretary of Mumbai Taximen’s association, AL Quardros, said, “It will take at least another week for the recalibration process to begin. The meter manufacturers will have to produce chips according to the revised fares that are to be installed in the meters.”
The auto and cab drivers will be charged Rs 600 for getting their meters recalibrated, for which a meeting between the union leaders and officials of the weights and measures department will be held on June 25. The meter recalibration was until now undertaken by the transport department, but for the first time is being done by the weights and measures department.
Shashank Rao, the union leader of Mumbai Autorikshaw Association, said, “We will be meeting the officials of the weights and measures department and decide the plan of action.”
But despite the hike in the auto and taxi fares, Mumbaikars are reluctant to revert to BEST buses for their commute. With the two consecutive hikes of February and April, the commuter traffic of BEST came down to 30 lakh from 42 lakh. Witnessing the drop in their commuters, the undertaking had decided to reduce its pass tariff.
BEST has proposed to reduce the fare of the daily bus pass to Rs 40 from Rs 70 in the island city, while it will come down to Rs 50 for the suburbs. Similarly, the cost of the monthly magic pass will be reduced to Rs 1,175 from Rs 1,700 while the quarterly cost will come down to Rs 5,040 from Rs 2,825.
However, commuters who have switched to auto rickshaws and taxis following the BEST fare hike refuse to revert to the use of buses again. Nikita Abhyankar, a resident of Kalyan, said, “Everyday, I used to catch a bus from CST to my office in Nariman Point, but following the bus fare hike a taxi was more convenient. Besides, the frequency of buses is bad and a taxi is more convenient even with the fare hike.”
Preety Chavvan, a resident of Malad, said, “At least using an auto rickshaw is a hassle-free journey without any wait. There is not much benefit one gets getting a BEST pass as compared to railways.”