BY TC News Desk
Agartala, 20th November 2023: Transport Minister Sushanta Chowdhury today wrote a letter to the union civil aviation minister Jyotir Aditya Scindia urging him for complete waiving off the service charges levied to prepaid auto rickshaws of Rs.30 at MBB airport.
In the letter, minister chowhdury said that the prepaid taxi service charges are fixed based on the category of the airport which in turns depends upon footfall at the airport. MBB Airport, Agartala is a Group C category Airport, i.e the passenger traffic at MBB Airport is between 1 million to 2 million passengers per annum hence, the rates per trip for prepaid taxi service is Rs.3o/-
“Besides, I would like to highlight before you about the movement status of vehicles those are driven from MBB Airport to various nearby areas. It is to inform you that from MBB Airport commercial four wheelers’ Taxis do not run till date as per official records. The major portion of vehicles running from our MBB Airport are 3(three) wheeler auto rickshaws. Airport Authority of India has categorised MBB Airport as a Group -C category airport but in real aspect MBB Airport as compare to other metropolitan cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai etc lies in a small city whose area is also small. Here the prepaid auto rickshaws ply only within 10 to 15 Km radius covering very short distances and the number of auto rickshaws is higher compare to number of air passengers. The income of auto rickshaw owners is also very less compared to other big cities. They only get 3 – 4 trips per day and daily earnings come around Rs. 400 to Rs. 500 per auto”, the letter reads.
He told the minister that there are financial constrains in the state of Tripura and the socio-economic condition of the people of the state is not so good.
“Therefore, it is not possible for the Auto Rickshaw drivers to sustain their livelihood after paying high rate of service charge levied by Airport Authority of India (AAI). The Director of MBB Airport, AAI was also requested to take up the matter with appropriate authority of AAI for completely waiving off the services for greater interest of the State, AAI and air passengers as there is no policy to levy service charges from prepaid auto rickshaw”. the letter reads.
It is pertinent to mentioned here that the State Government of Tripura, considering the greater interest of auto rickshaw, has completely waive off @Rs.10/- which was levied by Transport Department, Government of Tripura because it has been reported to us that the rates of availing auto rickshaw per day by passengers is very low which is only about 20 to 30 passengers.
“Similarly, I am requesting you to waive off the service charge @Rs.30/- levied by AAI on Prepaid Auto rickshaw”, he added