Mangaluru: The minimum fare for autorickshaws had been Rs 25 for some time. With the slashing of petrol and diesel prices during the past months, recently the regional transport authority of the district had brought it down to Rs 20 like earlier.
The auto drivers have not gone back to the old fares but have been charging Rs 25 as minimum. The authorities have given them a few days’ time to fall in line. But, when spoken to, a few drivers said that the fuel price is not the only factor that decides the cost of running a vehicle. The rising costs of tyres, oil, spare parts, vehicle maintenance and the like, besides the cost of living in general, determine it more than the cost of fuel, they feel.
One of them asked as to why the auto drivers alone are being asked to keep the prices down. Why this sector should be singled out was difficult to understand, they say. The example cited is that when the cooking gas price goes down, the restaurants should reduce their fares, which is not being done.
In order to drive this point home, a committee of auto-owners and drivers’ organizations has decided to go on an indefinite strike from the midnight of Tuesday, Jan 27. The autorickshaws are affiliated to different trade unions and organizations. It is not known if this is going to be a general strike or a partial one.
The idea of this advisory to put the citizens on an alert.