The state government Tuesday informed the Bombay High Court that it was planning to go ahead with the auto and taxi fare hike, based on the recommendation by the now-scrapped Hakim Committee report, according to a decision taken by the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Transport Authority (MMRTA). The hike will come into effect immediately after recalibration of meters, starting June 25.
Consumer rights body Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) had approached the HC to defer the proposed auto and taxi fare hike as recommended by the Hakim Committee, which was later scrapped by the government.
The affidavit submitted by the Regional Transport Officer, Mumbai (E) Wadala, Mumbai, stated: “The fare revision given by MMRTA on May 11 is applicable to autorickshaws and taxis with effect from June 1. The programme regarding re-calibration of fare meters is set out by the Weights and Measures Department from June 25.”
The MMRTA had decided to hike the minimum fare of CNG autos from Rs 17 to Rs 18. The minimum fare would increase from Rs 21 to Rs 22 for black and yellow taxis, and from Rs 26 to Rs 28 for airconditioned taxis.
According to a new Government Resolution issued on June 5, a new three-member committee will be set up for fare fixation. The new committee will have to submit its report in six months. The MGP, therefore, sought that the hike be postponed till then.
The court had earlier asked the government to clear its stand on whether it could go ahead with a hike if a new committee was being set up any way. Government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani, Tuesday, said the state was going ahead with the fare hike according to the panel’s recommendations.
He further said the government was planning to revise fares immediately after the re-calibration, starting June 25. Justices Naresh Patil and S B Shukre said they would hear this matter on Wednesday.