One of the largest unions of kaali peeli taxi drivers, Mumbai Taximens Union, has demanded that the minimum taxi fare be raised to Rs 35 from the current Rs 25.
A.L. Quadros, General Secretary of the Union, said, "We requested the transport department of the state government to revise the fare. If the government fails to respond, then taxi operators will be forced to go on a strike from August 1.
"The fare was last hiked in 2021 from Rs 22 to Rs 25. Since then, the price of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) has increased drastically," said Quadros, adding that the cost of living has also increased during the period. Quadros highlighted these issues in his letter to Ashish Kumar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary (Transport), on July 27.
"We have made several representations to you to revise the taxi fare of Mumbai city since the CNG price has increased from Rs 48 to Rs 80 per kg after the last taxi fare revision. Surprisingly, you have failed to give any positive response in this matter. Due to the increase in CNG price, the taxi operators are incurring a daily loss of Rs 300. The Khatua Committee had recommended to the government that if the CNG price is increased more than 25% after the last revision, the taxi fare should be revised immediately. You have completely neglected to act as per the Khatua Committee report," read the letter by A.L. Quadros.
Currently, the minimum fare of kali peeli taxis is Rs 25, after which around Rs 16 per km is charged by the kaali peeli taxi drivers. But due to the increase in CNG price, kaali peeli taxi operators want a minimum fare increment by Rs 10, after which the rate per km will also increase by Rs 6 per km. Currently, after the basic fare (Rs 25), Rs 16 per km is charged for additional journey by the kaali peeli taxi drivers. They want this to increase by Rs 6 (six) per km.
Ashish Kumar Singh was not available for comments.