CNG price hike: Arvind Kejriwal calls for calm as autorickshaw drivers call strike, says fares may be reviewed

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 27 2013, 21:27pm hrs
ArvindWhat was the need for CNG price hike when a new govt is to take over: Arvind Kejriwal (PTI)
Delhi Chief Minister designate Arvind Kejriwal questioned the move by the Centre to go for a CNG price hike when a new government was to assume power in state in two days' time even as he suggested that autorickshaw fares in the national capital may be revised as a result of the steep increase.

He said he would examine the files and also ask the Centre about the reason for its haste in increasing the prices.

"What was the need to increase CNG prices when a new government is to take over in Delhi. It raises suspicions about their intention. I will look at the files once I take over tomorrow and see if the hike can be rolled back," Kejriwal said.

The compressed natural gas, or CNG, rate in the national capital was yesterday raised by a steep Rs 4.50 per kg in a second increase in rates in three months.

CNG will now cost Rs 50.10/kg in Delhi and Rs 56.70/kg in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad, Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) has said. The hike came into effect from midnight last night.

When told that autorickshaw drivers were unhappy with the hike and planning to go on a strike, Kejriwal said, "They have been associated with us for a long time... When I take charge tomorrow, I will hold consultations with them and try to find out a solution. If necessary, we cannot rule out the possibility of a hike in auto fares in Delhi."

Meanwhile, commenting on a sting operation carried out by a news channel purportedly showing that files were being torn, the Aam Aadmi Party leader said it was the Chief Secretary's responsibility to take care of files.

"This also shows there is large scale corruption in these departments and officials who are seeking transfer are understood to have been involved in it," he said.