Mumbai: Over 55,000 taxis in Mumbai may go off the roads as cabbies will launch an indefinite strike from Sunday midnight to press their demand for a fare hike, a union leader said in Mumbai on Wednesday.

The cabbies, who are an integral part of Mumbai's public transport system, are demanding a minimum fare of Rs.20 for the first mile (nearly 1.4 km) which would increase progressively with each additional kilometre.

Last week, the state government permitted a hike of Re 1, taking the minimum fare from existing Rs 17 to Rs 18. The new fare will become effective from October 15."In view of the spiralling costs of fuel and other expenses, it should be minimum Rs 20, otherwise it is difficult for us to survive," claimed Mumbai Taximen's Union leader A.C. Quadros.

Accordingly, Quadros warned that all the taxis in the city will go off the roads from Sunday-Monday midnight till the government concedes the demand for an enhanced fare hike. Last July, a one-man expert panel appointed to study the demands of the cabbies had recommended a minimum taxi fare of Rs.20 besides other incentives like increased night service charges and annual fare revision.


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