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95276Activists say link Mumbai auto and taxi tariff hike to improvement in service

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  • Pearl - Karmayog
    Apr 17, 2014
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      Source: The Times of India

      URL: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Activists-say-link-Mumbai-auto-and-taxi-tariff-hike-to-improvement-in-service/articleshow/33791964.cms

      Date: 16.4.14


      Activists say link Mumbai auto and taxi tariff hike to improvement in service


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      MUMBAI: As another hike in auto and taxi fares stares them in the face, commuters are asking why zero refusal and improvement in service are nowhere in sight.


      Another grouse is poor security even after the recent Esther Anuhya murder case.


      "Is it justified to give the drivers a hike when they continue to refuse passengers, behave badly and provide poor service?" Anita Deshmukh from Kandivli said.


      People said some drivers were tampering with even the e-meters. Activists plan to raise these issues in the meeting before the fare decision.


      The transport department may consider a fare hike in May based on the cost of living index, a series of CNG price hikes, and rising capital costs and insurance and taxes in the past year. Sources indicated that fares might go up by Rs 2.


      "The number of refusals has grown despite the hike in fares," activist Sunil Mone said. "Auto and taxi drivers should first improve service and then seek a hike."


      Activist G R Vora said that despite the "huge" fare rise of Rs 3 for autos and Rs 2 for taxis in October 2012, service did not improve. "Refusals are rampant and drivers illegally solicit commuters outside the regular stands," he said.


      Shirish Deshpande of the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat challenged the last fare hike in the high court. "If there is no improvement in service, don't give a hike," he said.


      Sources said activists planned to move court if a new hike happened.


      Times View


      Fares will have to rise, given the rise in fuel price and maintenance cost. What is not fair is the short shrift given to the other side of the deal, which includes zero refusal, better services and adherence to security measures (like display of identification badges, so important after the Esther Anuhya murder). Both unions and government agencies must ensure compliance to norms before effecting a fare hike.