Minister puts auto, taxi union on notice

Mumbai :  Transport Minister Sachin Ahir said autorickshaw and taxi unions cannot hold the government to ransom because of rise in CNG rates or any other issue. CNG prices have been increased by Rs 2 from per kg since July 1 and since then the unions are clamouring for hike in fares.

Minister puts auto, taxi union on notice

Asked if auto and rickshaw unions had asked for a raise in the fares, he said, “The unions cannot say to us that, if you don’t do this, (increase the hike), we will do that. Giving us strike threats won’t help their cause.”

“We are open to having talks with them and we had increased the fare in May and we will do it again in October,” he added.

According to the Hakim Committee report 2012, it has recommended a hike of Re. 1. The Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) which filed a public interest litigation (PIL) challenged this, in the Bombay High Court challenging it.

This is making the implementation of the hike impossible as the matter is  still subjudice.

Shashank Rao, assistant general secretary of Mumbai’s Autorickshaw union, said, “We have asked them to implement the Hakim committee fare hike after, now they should factor in the CNG price hike as well as the high cost of living.”

A L Quadros, union leader of Mumbai Taximen’s Union, said, “It’s great that they want to sit and talk with us, we too want the issue resolved at the earliest.”

When asked if the union will go on strike, Quadros hinted, “It depends on  what is the reaction of transport officials and what is being agreed upon,” he added.

Ahir also said that 18,000 new state transport buses have been manufactured and will be soon added to the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) fleet.

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