Auto-rickshaw fares in Delhi have been raised by 18.75 per cent with effect from today. The metre-down charge is now Rs. 25 for the first 1.5 kilometres, instead of the existing two kilometres. The per kilometre charge has been increased from Rs. 8 to Rs. 9.5.
An extra Rs. 7.5 will be charged for luggage and a sum off Re 0.75 will be levied for every minute the auto-rickshaw gets caught in traffic.
"Auto-rickshaw drivers will be able to charge the revised rates after re-calibration of fare meters. It will take over a month for re-calibration of meters in some 90,000 autos registered in Delhi," a senior Transport Department official said.
The new fares were announced by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government last week.
The hike comes ahead of the Delhi assembly election next year. Auto-rickshaw drivers had campaigned for the Aam Aadmi Party in its debut election contest in 2013.
After the party led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal swept the election and ended the Congress's long rule in the national capital, and he had promised an annual revision of fares.
The auto-rickshaw fare hike also comes days after the AAP government announced a plan to make rides on Delhi Metro and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses free for women. The scheme, to be rolled out in eight months, would cost Rs. 1,567 crore, Mr Kejriwal told reporters earlier this month.
The proposal to make rides on the massive public transit system free for women was criticised by former Delhi Metro Rail Corporation chief E Sreedharan, who wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Mr Kejriwal's plan would make the transport system inefficient and even bankrupt it. The former DMRC chief asked PM Modi not to agree to the proposal.
The Delhi government and the centre own DMRC in a 50:50 share.