In a move that will put a dent in the pocket of Mumbaikars, the fare hike of the taxis and auto-rickshaws in the financial capital of the country was announced on Monday. From 2015, the fares of taxis and auto-rickshaws were not increased.
According to the new rate, the first fare of a rickshaw will be Rs 21 instead of Rs 18 i.e. it has been increased by Rs 3. After that, there an amount of Rs 14.20 will be charged on every kilometre.
The increased fare will be applicable from March 1, 2021. For the next three months, they will be able to run their vehicles by showing cards. But by June, they will have to show these rent in meters, which means that by June the drivers will have to change the meter.
The taxi fare has also been increased. Now the taxi fare will start from Rs 25 instead of Rs 22. After this, Rs 16 will be charged per kilometre.
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena on Monday trained its guns at the Centre over the rising fuel prices, saying that the government should take steps to bring down the rates of petrol and diesel in the country. The party, which heads the ruling coalition in Maharashtra, also raised the issue of Bollywood stars maintaining silence over the skyrocketing fuel prices, a stand earlier taken by its ally the Congress.
In the editorial of its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena said reducing petrol and diesel prices will ensure the devotees of Lord Ram get food. The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, a body formed by the Centre, has been mandated with overseeing the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. A nationwide drive to collect funds for the temple kicked off last month.
The Shiv Sena said it is the duty of the government to control the prices of essential items. People should do away with this loss of memory (of the government) if the government at the Centre has forgotten its duty (of controlling prices). Bring down the prices of petrol and diesel instead of collecting donations for the Ram temple construction. Ram devotees will get food because of it (reduction in prices) and Lord Shri Ram, too, will be happy, the Shiv Sena said.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party questioned why the BJP which otherwise stages agitation every now and then has kept quiet over the issue of rising fuel prices. The Marathi daily said Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to be blaming the previous governments for the current fuel price woes.
PM Modi had last week said the middle-class would not have been burdened with high petrol and diesel prices if the previous governments had focussed on reducing India’s energy import. Without referring to the relentless increase in retail fuel prices, which are linked to global rates, the PM had said India imported over 85 per cent of its oil needs in the 2019- 20 financial year and 53 per cent of its gas requirement.
The previous governments set up public undertakings like Indian Oil, ONGC and Bharat Petroleum, but Modi is selling them and now blaming the earlier regimes for fuel price rise, the Shiv Sena said. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday had said the Centre and state governments will together have to work out a mechanism to bring retail rates of petrol and diesel to reasonable levels.