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Business News/ News / India/  Commuters to feel the pinch in Delhi as taxi, auto fares set to go up
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Commuters to feel the pinch in Delhi as taxi, auto fares set to go up

The central govt more than doubled the price of domestically produced natural gas for the six months from 1 April

The hike in compressed natural gas prices by ₹15 per kg to ₹71.61 a kg in 2022 alone has dealt a blow to auto and taxi operators. (Photo: PTI)Premium
The hike in compressed natural gas prices by 15 per kg to 71.61 a kg in 2022 alone has dealt a blow to auto and taxi operators. (Photo: PTI)

NEW DELHI : In view of high inflation and rising fuel prices, the Delhi government has constituted a committee headed by the special commissioner of the state transport authority, to recommend a new fare structure for autos and taxis. The panel is expected to submit its report within a month.

In the national capital, taxi fares were last revised in 2014 and auto fares in 2019.

“We constituted a committee to see if the fares need to be revised. In less a month’s time, the committee should do all the deliberations," said Jasmine Shah, vice-chairperson, Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDCD).

The fare revision committee is expected to increase rates, adding to the burden of commuters who are already reeling under high inflation across several essential categories. However, the increase in compressed natural gas (CNG) prices by 15 per kg to 71.61 a kg in 2022 alone, has dealt a huge blow to auto and taxi operators. In comparison, CNG was priced at 41.90 per kg in Delhi in 2014, and 46.60 in 2019.

A major increase in the CNG prices was witnessed in the last two years and transport unions, including representatives of auto and taxi operators, had approached the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government to express unhappiness over rising CNG prices, Shah said.

Last week, taxis and auto-rickshaws went on a strike in the national capital demanding a hike in fares due to the surge in fuel prices.

In fact, the associations had planned for an indefinite strike, but postponed their plans for 15 days after the Delhi government assured them that it would consider their demands.

Shah said the panel will take feedback from all associations before submitting its recommendations on the quantum of fare hike.

Retail fuel prices in India, including CNG, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), PNG (piped natural gas), petrol and diesel have gone up significantly on the back of a surge in global oil and gas prices following the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The increase in CNG prices is expected to continue as global uncertainties refuse to die down. The central government, too, more than doubled the price of domestically produced natural gas for the six months starting 1 April.

The rise in fuel prices will be a key trigger for operators to switch to electric three-wheelers, and the Delhi government has a major policy thrust to boost the adoption of e-vehicles, Shah said.

“So far we have seen only CNG autos in Delhi. Delhi is the first state to bring out 4,200 licences for electric autos. The first 100 are already on the ground," he added.

According to the Delhi Economic Survey 2021-22, it has 1,14,869 autos and 1,12,401 taxis plying city roads.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rituraj Baruah
Rituraj Baruah is a senior correspondent at Mint, reporting on housing, urban affairs, small businesses and energy. He has reported on diverse sectors over the last six years including, commodities and stocks market, insolvency and real estate. He has previous stints at Cogencis Information Services, Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) and Inc42.
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Published: 28 Apr 2022, 12:48 AM IST
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