Auto drivers to go on strike tomorrow in Bangalore

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Bangalore, Feb 27: Auto-drivers in Bangalore will go on a strike on Tuesday, Feb 28 for increment of minimum fare as well as high fare per kilometer.

While one union has asked that auto fares be raised to Rs 20 as minimum from Rs 17 and from Rs 9/km to Rs 10 per km, another union has demanded that the fare be raised to Rs 24 and 12/km.

"The previous fare of Rs 17 was fixed two years ago and since then there has been an increase in the price of LPG. Two years ago, the rate of LPG was Rs 34/litre, which has gone up to Rs 50/litre. If you include the price of oil, the total cost incurred comes to Rs 57/litre. Looking at the increasing expenses of drivers, the fare hike is necessary," said M Manjunath, president, Adarasha Auto and Taxi Drivers' Union (HMS.)

"We met the deputy commissioner last Monday and submitted a memorandum about it. We are open to an agreement, but the fare has to be increased to a minimum of Rs 22/km, else autorickshaws across the city will go on strike on Tuesday," said Manjunath.

"We need to look at 18 parameters before fixing the fare and according to that, the fare should be Rs 24 and not Rs 17 (minimum). We're also demanding an autorickshaw colony and a welfare board to look into our problems," said HG Srinivasa Murthy, president, Autorickshaw Drivers Union (CITO).

Bangalore has at least 90,000 autos in the city. The move to push for a price rise in auto fares will surely affect the common man, who already feel the pinch of higher auto fares demanded by rickshaw drivers in the city.

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