Taxis are majorly used by Bangaloreans to commute for longer distances. There was frequent increase in auto fare, disappointing the general public. The minimum fare for auto is Rs. 25 covering merely 1.8 km. The public compromised the rising prices as there was a hike in petrol, gas and diesel prices. The government cannot take the public for granted and try increasing the fares and taxes frequentlyof other modes of transportation.
The National Authority of India (NHAI) had increased the toll tax of the expressway that is connected to Bangalore International Airport. The Light Motor Vehicles have to pay Rs. 75 for a single entry and Rs. 115 for the return trip entry. The taxes earlier were Rs. 20 for a single entry and Rs. 30 for the return trip entry. This is not defined as hike in the prices, but is a way to loot the taxi drivers, ultimately affecting the general public. The taxi drivers earn their livelihood by running the taxis, but if the Government tries to affect their means of livelihood, the taxi union would not remain mum. They are forced to raise a voice.
The Private taxi drivers and lorry owners in Karnataka went for an indefinite strike demanding a rollback of the four-fold hike on the expressway to the Bangalore international airport. There were more than 7 lakh owners of the commercial vehicles who participated in the strike. The chief Minister has assured that the State Government would approach the Centre to seek a solution to this crisis. The toll hike by NHAI also triggered protests by the Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal (Secular) and various other groups. The former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda too staged a sit-in protest near the toll gate. The increasing toll tax is a threat in disguise.
I think Mr. Oscar Fernandes – union minister for road, transport and highways, should take the matter on priority basis to help these drivers to earn their livelihood without much struggle.