Visakhapatnam: Autorickshaw drivers unions are chalking out plans to increase the minimum fare from the first week of November for both share and service autorickshaws. The hike in diesel price will add to the burden of those depending on autorickshaws.
The drivers said traffic cops were imposing hefty fines on three-wheeler drivers in the name of regulation of traffic and the fare hike was necessary to run the autos in the city.
Diesel and petrol in Andhra Pradesh is costlier than neighbouring Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana state and Karnataka due to increase in VAT. Now the diesel price has touched Rs 60 in the state.
State secretary of the autosrickshaw union G.V. Murthy said that despite their repeated requests, government had not brought down the price of diesel.
“We have no option but to increase the minimum fares for our livelihood,” he said.
Drivers used to earn Rs 500 to Rs 700 a day in Vizag but the allegation is that more than 40 per cent of the earnings were being paid as traffic penalties or bribes.
“The diesel price in Vizag city is about `60 per litre and our profit is very nominal,” said autorickshaw driver T. Anil. Traffic police said that RTA officials had issued city permit to 18,000 autorickshaws but over 33,000 have been registered and over 55,000 were plying on the city roads; the city has about 700 buses.
The unions plan to hike the minimum fare from Rs 8 to Rs 12 for share autorickshaws and the minimum fare for service autos to Rs 35 from Rs 25. The fares will most likely be implemented from the first week of November.
Commuters, who depend on autorickshaws for travelling said that they have to cough up more money for travelling....