New Delhi, Delhi Assembly election is just a few months away and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is making strategies to hit the bull’s eye. From pleasing the women voters by making a substantial part of their travelling free, now it is the turn of the autorickshaw drivers and owners who have played a crucial role in ensuring victory for the AAP government.
In Delhi, the AAP government has notified new auto-rickshaw fares effecting an 18.75-per cent increase on existing rates.
This masterstroke by the AAP government will impact owners and drivers of over 90,000 auto-rickshaws plying in the national capital, who had played a very important role in the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot tweeted and informed thus:”@ArvindKejriwal govt fulfils its key promise. Transport Department has notified revision of auto-rickshaw fares. After revision also, auto fares in Delhi to remain lower than other metro cities.” “Auto-rickshaw drivers will be able to charge the revised rates after necessary re-calibration of fare meters. It will take around 1.5 months for re-calibration of meters in over 90,000 autos registered in Delhi,” said a senior Transport Department official.
Under the revised rates, the metre down charge will be Rs 25 for the first 1.5 km, instead of existing 2 km. The per km charge has been increased from existing Rs 8 to Rs 9.5, which is a hike of around 18.75 per cent.
The notification introduces waiting for the charge at the rate of Rs 0.75 per minute if an auto is caught up at a traffic signal. Luggage charges will be Rs 7.50.
The notification on revised fare structure was forwarded to the State Transport Authority (STA) by the Transport Department. The issue of the notification was delayed after officials objected to it saying that the Lieutenant Governor’s approval was needed for the notification.
Finally, it was issued on approval of Gahlot, following a Law Department opinion that the Lt Governor’s nod was not needed for it.
Sources claimed that the approval of the STA, set up under the Motor Vehicles Act, was now needed for implementation of the revised auto-rickshaw fares. The panel is headed by the transport commissioner and includes two legislators and a Traffic Police officer as members.
A Delhi government spokesperson, however, said the notification on auto fare revision is a “mandatory and irreversible directive” to the STA to implement the cabinet decision.
After completing due formalities, the STA will implement the decision at the earliest, he said.Though this movement may hurt the middle class, which uses the auto more frequently, there must be more goodies in store for the aam aadmi for sure.