After the autorickshaw union,the Mumbai Taximens Union has threatened to go on strike any day after May 2 if the state government does not concede to its demands of constituting a fresh taxi trade enquiry committee within 15 days.
Calling the Hakim Committee formula on which the taxi tariff is decided outdated,the union had asked the government to appoint a new panel to look into several issues,including the need for another tariff hike after the last one in March.
The cost of maintenance in the old formula was based on the price of the Premier Padmini taxis,90 per cent of which have been replaced by new generation vehicles costing more than Rs 3.5 lakh. The state government is well aware of the living cost since the last taxi trade enquiry committee report in 1996, said A L Quadros,general secretary of the union.
Last month,the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority had increased the minimum fare for taxis from Rs 16 to Rs 17 and effected an increase of 50 paise in the fare for every km thereafter.
Other than the examination of a further fare hike,the union wants the committee to look into the re-erection of more than 1,200 taxi stands in Mumbai,allowing taxi drivers to have advertisements on their vehicles like fleet taxis and the release of 14,000 dead taxi permits,among other demands. Quadros said drivers should be allowed to refuse passengers for reasons such as shift change.
Meanwhile,the Sharad Rao-led Mumbai Autorickshawmens Union has planned an agitation from April 16 to demand an increase in fare.
Another union for autorickshaw drivers led by Thampi Kurien held a one-day agitation in Bandra on Monday to demand a fresh committee to look into the formula used to set the fare and,as an immediate relief,an increase in the minimum fare from Rs 11 to Rs 14.
Last month,drivers of Meru cabs organised under Nitesh Rane-led Swabhiman Sanghatana went on a strike demanding a reduction in subscription fee and a waiver of maintenance costs.