OPPOSING PERMIT FEE HIKE… – Rickshaw unions threaten strike

The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) has taken strong exception to the Re gional Transport Office’s (RTO) plan of hiking the cost of an autorickshaw permit by Rs 15,000.The body has threatened to go on strike from January 20 if the government doesn’t retract the proposal.

The Maharashtra Motor Act, 1989, was amended on December 16, 2015, and Clause 75(6) was introduced.Accordingly, the cost of a fresh permit has been hiked from Rs 100 to Rs 25,000 in Mumbai and Rs 15,000 in other cities. The cost of renewal of permit, meanwhile, has gone up from Rs 100 to Rs 1,000, Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000 for autorickshaws, taxis and buses, respectively. The autorickshaw and taxi unions, as well as the AIMTC, have all taken objection to this amendment.

“The state government has proposed exorbitant hikes for the permit charges. The entire public transportation model will be affected badly as we will have to seek fare hikes to cover the costs incurred by this move. We have always been opposing this move, but the government has been pushing it forward. All rickshaw and motor unions will go on strike from January 20 if this is not taken back,“ said Baba Shinde, member of the AIMTC.

The government had also announced that it will issue 25 per cent additional permits over the next three years (except Mumbai, where one lakh permits will be issued). Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad region will see issuance of 3,200 permits by January 7. t Mumbai will see 35,528 additional au torickshaws.

Despite the unions’ agitation, the RTO insists that it has seen an overwhelming response to this move.. “On the first day itself, we received about 675 applications. The decision over a permit fee hike is still under way. We haven’t received an official order regarding the revised structure.We will charge it as per the government’s instruction,“ said Jitendra Pa til, Pune RTO.

Bapu Bhave, president of the auto rickshaw federation, said, “The Motor Vehicle Act states that once a permit period has lapsed, a Rs 100 monthly charge should be levied. The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court had also ordered this Act be followed while charges are collected. However, apart from the Rs 100, the transport authority is also planning to charge an additional Rs 15,000, which is not fair.They should consider the problems faced by drivers and charge only as per the Motor Vehicle Act.“

However, an RTO official said the move may not actually materialise.“The decision isn’t final yet. Suggestions and objections will be considered and new provisions finalised after January 17. For the first lot of permits, therefore, only Rs 100 will be charged,“ an official said.
Source : Pune Mirror

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