Auto drivers demand more on meter, say it's reasonable

ARDU wants minimum fare hiked to Rs 24 and Rs 12 per km
Last Updated 22 November 2011, 07:31 IST
Auto drivers demand more  on meter, say it's reasonable
According to the memorandum, which will be submitted to the deputy commissioner on Wednesday, the union has made a request to increase the minimum fare to Rs 24 and fare per kilometre to Rs 12. Currently, the fares are Rs 17 and Rs nine, respectively.

They also want the government to fix 33 paise as waiting charge per minute.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, ARDU president Meenakshi­sundaram said: “There are 18 parameters that the Transport department needs to consider before it decides on fares.

Calculating the fares on those parameters, we have found that there needs to be an increase. We will therefore submit a memorandum to the DC (M K Aiyappa).” He claimed that the requested fare hike is actually reasonable.

Parameters considered

Elaborating on some of the parameters considered while calculating the fare, he said: “Taking into consideration the investment that goes into buying a vehicle, the vehicle’s general life span, wages paid to the drivers, fuel prices, the mileage etc, the operational cost per km comes up to somewhere between Rs 13 and Rs 15 and we are asking only for Rs 12.”

He claimed that the general investment into a vehicle is about Rs 1.35 lakh (cost of the vehicle and interest on loan), added to this are the wages which presently stand at Rs 350 per eight-hour shift, Rs 56 for fuel/gas (including oil).

“We must understand that the vehicle we buy paying over a lakh will give us a return of only Rs 30,000-Rs 25,000 after its life span of 10 years. During the 10-year period, one would have paid the EMIs for five years at least besides having to pay the driver,” he said.

Further, he said, on a daily basis at least 10 km of a particular shift is run empty without a passenger, adding to the operation cost which should also be considered.
“In an eight-hour shift, there will be about 75 km of travel, of which at least 10-12 km is run empty,” he added.

Vice-president Srinivas Murthy said the union will talk to other unions on the matter and that it is confident of getting their support.

While there was no word from the DC’s office until late on Monday, sources said that agreeing completely to the demands on the fare will not be possible.

As auto users in the City pray that the demands are not agreed upon, Sundaram said: “It is not that we are not open for negotiations. As long as there are concrete reasons we will also concede.”

Fare demands

* Minimum: Rs 24
* Per km: Rs 12
* Waiting charge: 33 ps per minute

(Published 21 November 2011, 20:35 IST)

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