An auto-rickshaw driver taking a nap
An auto-rickshaw driver taking a napReuters

It seemed as if the recent hike in autorickshaw fares in Bangalore urban district would have worked out to benefit autorickshaw drivers, but it remains just a delusion!

Speaking to IBTimes, Gahouse Paisa, who has been driving his autorickshaw since the past 20 years, said, "people are unwilling to pay even Rs. 5 extra than the earlier rate, they (passengers) prefer to go by bus instead of paying extra amount."

He also said that since the fare hike, daily earnings went down too.

"Before the fare was hiked, the daily earnings were around Rs. 700, however, for the last 6-7 days, i hardly make around Rs. 350-400 at maximum," said the 65-year-old autorickshaw driver and a resident of Rahamat Nagar, RT Nagara.

Earlier in a meeting held between the Deputy Commissioner of Bangalore Urban district and Auto Unions, an agreement to increase the auto fare was reached upon.

As per the new tariff, the minimum fare has been increased to Rs. 20 from Rs. 17 at 1.8 km instead of 2 km. The per kilometer fare rate has also been raised from Rs. 9 to Rs. 11 with effect from Monday.

Another auto driver M. Venugopal (42) also said that the daily earnings have decreased and the number of "customers" has also declined.

When asked why there were no customers for the autorickshaw, he retorted "I don't know," however, he added "the trend will continue for at least a month and its going to be a tough time for auto drivers."

However, on inquiring as to why people were refraining from using the autorickshaw after the fare hike since last week, IBTimes discovered that there's another reason, apart from the aggrieved stories of those auto divers.

"Auto drivers are taking advantage of it (fare hike) and some of them (auto drivers) refuse to go by meter, they simply ask for more money than the fixed amount," said K. Premchandra, a yoga instructor who uses an autorickshaw to reach his private classes in and around Koramangala, Domlur, Indira Nagar and Shivajinagar areas.