In a bid to address the issues of commuters and drivers of app-cabs in the West Bengal, the state transport department has decided to issue a new fare chart with revised rates for the online app-cab aggregators by 3 May.
The decision comes following a meeting between the online app-cab aggregators, drivers’ unions and the officials of the state transport department today. The drivers’ unions in today’s meeting unanimously demanded a hike in the rates per kilometre for both AC and non-AC cabs, against the present rate of Rs 18.75.
Citing the hike in fuel prices, the unions are demanding the new rates to be Rs 20 for non-AC and Rs 25 for AC cabs. Following the demand, the department has agreed to issue a fresh notification with a revised fare chart for online app-cabs by 3 May. “The department wants us to ply vehicles at the base of Rs 35 which is applicable for taxis,” said Md Manu, general secretary of Kolkata Ola Uber App Cab Operator and Drivers’ Union. “But, this rate is not viable for us. We have urged the state government to issue fresh fare charts every year. We have also demanded Rs 20 for non-AC and Rs 25 for AC cabs per kilometre,” added Indrajit Ghosh, president of the union.
Notably, the state government was not very happy with the recent hike in fares announced by a leading appcab aggregating company and had asked the reasons for the declaration of the increased rates from the private organisation. The department officials today rejected the increased fare chart introduced by the company and asked the drivers and aggregators to ply vehicles at the existing rates till the declaration of revised fares by the state government.
While addressing the issues of fare hike, the state government officials are said to have warned of strict actions against cases of violation of road and driving safety, including drunken driving. While the department has asked the aggregating companies to pay commission to the drivers as per the agreed terms and conditions without making unjustified deductions. In a major relief to the bike-taxi operators, the transport department has announced to regularise and issue licence to them.