A section of taxi operators in the city are charging extra fare from commuters without the approval of the state government.

The increasing diesel prices in the country has now become an additional burden on taxi operators in the city who are already battling losses due to the coronavirus lockdown, according to the operators.

Under the prevailing financial crisis, as claimed by the operators, members of three taxi unionsBengal Taxi Association(BTA), Kolkata Taxi Operators’ Union and Calcutta Taxi Association last month had threatened to withdraw services if their demands were not met within 14 July.

On 15 July, a section of yellow taxi operators decided to charge additional fare from 01 August without the approval from the state transport department, claiming financial losses in the prevailing situation.

Members of BTA have decided to charge rupees 50 as the basic fare for the first two kilometres from 1 August if the government does not look into the matter before that. Considering the decision, the operators are now charging the new fares from the commuters without even a consent form the state authorities.

“We have written several letters to the government but there has been no response from the authorities,” said Bimal Guha general secretary of BTA. “Before charging the new fares, we intimated them of our decision but it was neither responded to nor objected. Hence, we are charging the new fares from 1 August,” he added.