Travelling in autorickshaws and taxis in Delhi has become dearer with the government notifying revised fares.
According to the new fares, the metre down charge (minimum fare) for the initial 1.5 kilometres for autorickshaws has been increased from Rs 25 to Rs 30, while the per kilometre charge afterwards has been hiked from Rs 9.50 to Rs 11. The revised rates came into force from January 9.
There has been no increase in waiting charges and night charges for autorickshaws, while the charges for extra luggage have been hiked from Rs 7.50 to Rs 10.
Sources said the file was received by the LG office on December 19.
It was approved by LG VK Saxena on January 6 with a note expressing surprise over the news of the approval got fashed in the media in October last year, they said.
For taxis, the charge for the first kilometre, which was Rs 25 for both AC and non-AC types, will go up to Rs 40. The per kilometre charge after metre down will increase to Rs 17 for non-AC and Rs 20 for AC taxis. Before the revision, they were Rs 14 for non-AC and Rs 16 for AC.
The 25 per cent night charge will remain unchanged. The waiting charge, which is currently Rs 30, will be Re 1 per minute after 15 minutes stay. The extra luggage charge has been hiked from Rs 10 to Rs 15.
The last revision in the autorickshaw fares was effected in 2020, while that for taxis, including black-and-yellow, economy and premium ones, happened in 2013.
The AAP government in Delhi sent the file for notifying revised autorickshaw and taxi fares to Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena on December 17. It had in October last year approved the increase in fares on the recommendation of a committee constituted in the wake of rising CNG prices.
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot had received many representations from autorickshaw and taxi associations and unions on the issue of fare hikes.
A 13-member committee was formed in May last year to review and recommend the fare in the wake of increasing rates of CNG, cost and maintenance of autorickshaws and taxis, and various other issues, affecting the drivers’ net earnings. ”Auto and taxi drivers have been incurring high expenses due to hikes in CNG prices in the last few months. The new fares will help them to cope with the rising prices. I would like to ensure all drivers that the Arvind Kejriwal government is standing with them and will keep supporting them in the best possible manner,” Gahlot said.
While approving the hiked fares, the L-G, in a note, said that it was ”both surprising and unsettling that even as the proposal for approving the said decision has come to me now, news of it getting approved got fashed in the media on October 28-29”.
”While the proposal of revision of auto and taxi fare along with the said cabinet decision was required to be submitted for my consideration through proper channel as per Rule-23 of the Transaction of Business of the GNCTD Rules, 1993, the cabinet decision, which is essentially interim in nature, was announced in public without proper notification,” Saxena said in the note.
He also noted that the file seeking approval for the cabinet decision was sent to him after 53 days.
”On several occasions, I have also emphasized that publicizing issues prematurely even before the matter is submitted to me or while it is under my consideration, violates the basic principles of governance and at the same time restricts/obstructs my constitutional right of formulating an independent opinion on the subject. ”Despite this, I am constrained to note that a public announcement was made prior to the submission of the proposal for my consideration,” Saxena said.
He said that a large section of commuters in the national capital faced undue harassment due to some auto and taxi drivers charging the proposed revised fares from the passengers prior to the notification.
”In view of the above, even as I approve the proposal, the department may be asked to clarify whether the rates enumerated in the Cabinet Note are already being charged from the commuters, and if that is the case, what action has been taken by the department to safeguard the passengers for overcharging by such auto and taxi drivers,” the L-G’s note read.