Following representation from auto rickshaw drivers in Bengaluru, the fares will be going up soon. Speaking to TNM L Narendra Holkar who is the Additional Transport Commissioner confirmed that the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) had decided to hike the chargeable fares to a minimum of Rs 30 for 1.8 km. For every subsequent kilometer, the fare will be Rs 15, he said. Narendra Holkar further said that the official notification from the government was pending, and added he was unaware when the hiked chargeable fare will be implemented.
Auto rickshaw drivers in Bengaluru approached the Government of Karnataka to provide an increase in the chargeable fare. The current chargeable fare is Rs 25 for the first 1.8 km of the journey and an additional Rs 13 for every subsequent kilometer. Drivers had demanded an increase to Rs 30 as the minimum fare for 1.8 km and Rs 16 for every subsequent kilometer.
â€śThere is an increase in the overall cost of living now. Prices of gas, electricity, groceries, childrenâ€™s education etc all have gone up. Due to this, we are facing losses. So we demanded that the government increase the chargeable fare considering the increased cost of living. We had already once requested the government to increase the chargeable fares two years ago. Now, it has been eight years since the fares have been revised,â€ť said CN Srinivas who is the Bengaluru General Secretary of Auto Rickshaw Driversâ€™ Union (ARDU) affiliated to Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).
An auto rickshaw driver named CK Narasimhaiah said that the move will help ease their financial situation a little especially with the severe hit in business suffered due to the pandemic. â€śThe gas prices have gone up and because of the pandemic business has been low. Right now, this business is not financially very viable at all. The prices of every single thing around us were going up but our fare was not being hiked. I think this hike will give us a bit of relief,â€ť he said.
He further pointed out that the fines imposed by police for traffic violations were very difficult to bear, â€śNow even if we stop for just a few seconds, the police take a photograph and fine us. One such case will cost a minimum of Rs 500. If, over the course of the month, we have even two or three violations, a large part of our earnings will be gone. The hike provides some relief in this way also,â€ť he added.