Auto drivers say the new hike is insufficient due to high LPG prices and COVID losses. Unions promise to take up the matter of a bigger hike with the transport department next year
Bangalore: Auto drivers in the city say they are not happy with the new fare hike from Rs 25 to Rs 30. They say this isn’t enough because of rising LPG prices.
“We will not benefit from this (fare hike). The rate of gas (LPG) is rising day by day. When we asked for a hike earlier, gas rate was less. Now it is Rs 66. There is no point if here you hike the price slightly and keep LPG at Rs 70-80,” said Mansoor Ali, an auto driver.
Set to be enforced from today, the transport department has agreed to an eight year old demand from several unions. They say this has been done in line with the overall rise in expenses that a driver has to incur. The decision will impact over one lakh autorickshaws in the city.
While unions agree that this demand was in tune with the expenses in 2013, much has changed since, especially gas prices. LPG currently stands at Rs 66 per litre compared to Rs 33 in May 2020 and Rs 59 in October 2021.
They also say the hike is insufficient especially after the losses auto drivers faced during COVID.
“The hike is less. During COVID, for 2 years our drivers didn’t have business. Keeping in mind the LPG prices, we’ll ask the transport department for an increase in the base price next year,” said G Sampath, Secretary of the Adarsha Auto & Taxi Driver Union.
Commuters, meanwhile, have opposed the price hike.
“When you talk of travelling in an auto at the new price, it’s too high. Other modes of transport are relatively cheaper. This will cause grave inconvenience to the local people,” said Balasubramani R, a commuter.