Commuting by CNG driven autos, taxis to cost dearly in Mumbai

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Mumbai, June 22 (ANI): Commuting by taxis and autorickshaws is going to be a costly affair in Mumbai, as a decision to hike fares of Compressed Natural Gas driven vehicles was taken on Tuesday here in a meeting.

This decision was taken after a meeting between the representatives of the taxi and auto-rickshaw operators union and the officials of the Transport Department of Maharashtra government today.

The main demands of the union included a hike in fares, making electronic meters optional, and exemptions from paying toll tax and professional tax by taxi drivers, abolition of fleet taxis and providing facilities for taxi drivers at city airports.

"The decision has been taken by the government and would be submitted to the committee and from day after tomorrow the prices will rise. The fare of CNG vehicles (auto-rickshaws) which ply on the roads of Thane and Mumbai will go up from rupees 9 for 1.6 kms to rupees 11...so, there will be increase of rupees two," said Sharad Rao, leader of Mumbai Taxi and Auto-Rickshaws Union.

Incidentally, since the early hours of the morning, 100,000 auto-rickshaws and more than 80,000 taxis had stayed off the roads in response to the daylong strike call by the Mumbai Auto-rickshaw and Taxi Operators' Union.

It caused a lot of inconvenience to commuters in the city.

The strike was called due to hike in prices of compressed natural gas (CNG), petrol and diesel, and was called by non-governmental organization Swabhiman Autorickshaw Taxi Union.

They had demanded a hike in the prescribed fares.

"Previously, the per kilometre rate which was rupees five in Mumbai will increase to rupees 6.50...that is rupees 1.50 increase in the fare of auto-rickshaws," added Sharad Rao. (ANI)

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