Digital auto meters to be made tamper-proof

The in-built software will get permanently disabled, if meddled

 
As a first step, the State government issued a draft notification on July 20, amending the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Rules (1989), granting authority for the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) to make it mandatory for all autorickshaws to install digital meters. The Government has invited objections and suggestions from the public, if any, on the amendments made to the rules.

August 20 is the last date to file the same with the Secretary, Department of Transport, MS Building -II, Bangalore. The system will be in place only after the Government finalises the rules.

The new norm will first be introduced in Bangalore, and then extended to other city corporation limits, sources in the Transport department said. Of the 2.78 lakh autorickshaws registered with various RTOs across the State, as many as 96,000 are plying in Bangalore alone.

Digital meters were introduced in 2004. However, these meters too are tampered.
Now, the draft notification provides the Transport Commissioner with the authority to reject the approval of digital meters if they do not conform to standards.

Permanently disabled

“We want a tamper-proof system in place. We will request the Legal Metrology department to henceforth consider only such meters which have tamper-proof software.
In case of any tampering, the in-built software will permanently disable the meter,” says Transport Commissioner Bhaskar Rao.

The proposed rules will also make it mandatory for meter manufacturing units to submit to the Transport Commissioner a detailed description of the meter, with drawings of its mechanism and electronic circuit. They will also have to enclose copies of certificate of approval from the Director, Legal Metrology, New Delhi, and the license issued by the Controller of Legal Metrology, Bangalore.

Once the final rules are notified, all the 96,000 autorickshaws in Bangalore will have to install digital electronic meters within the time frame specified by the RTA. Presently, around 40,000 autorickshaws are fitted with digital fare meters, while old vehicles continue to have mechanical fare meters.

As for the veracity of the existing digital meters, the Transport department proposes to conduct vigorous checks in coordination with the Legal Metrology department.

The new rules will empower the RTOs not to issue fitness certificate  to autorickshaws unless they are fitted with digital meters.

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