The state government Tuesday told Bombay High Court it would not take a decision on a further increase in autorickshaw and taxi fares till the next hearing of a PIL on the issue in June.
The PIL has been filed by Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) challenging the hike in autorickshaw and taxi fares implemented in October last year. MGP has termed the hike unreasonable and arbitrary and has said it was brought into effect after pressure from autorickshaw and taxi unions.
Advocate General Darius Khambata on Tuesday told a division bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A A Sayed that the fares would not be hiked till June 12,when the case has been kept for hearing. This was in response to a statement made by Uday Warunjikar,lawyer for the petitioners,that the fare was to be revised from May 1.
During the hearing,the judges asked the government to consider the grievances of consumers before arriving at a decision regarding the fares. In previous hearings of the PIL,the court has criticised the governments inaction in ensuring recalibration of meters and taking steps to address grievances of consumer organisations. In December last year,pursuant to criticism from the court,the states transport department completed recalibration work of as many as 13,000 autorickshaws and taxis in the merely seven days.
After the hike in October last year,minimum fare was increased from Rs 17 to Rs 19 for taxis and from Rs 12 to Rs 15 for autorickshaws.