Autos should install GPS: HC

It is in line with global trend

Autorickshaw drivers will have to install Global Positioning Systems in their vehicles with the Delhi High Court on Monday rejecting their plea against the city government’s notification for installation of GPS in autos.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw rejected the Auto Drivers’ Association’s plea against GPS installation, saying the same is in line with the global trend.

Dismissing the plea that the State Transport Authority (STA) was not empowered to issue the notification for GPS installation, the bench said, “We don’t see anything wrong in requiring autorickshaws to be GPS/GPRS and printer fitted. The same is in consonance with what is happening in the rest of the world.”

“Any Delhi resident will vouch for the infamy of auto drivers. They are not only known to overcharge but also take longer rather than direct routes for their own benefit and to the detriment of their patrons and consumers,” the bench observed.

The court rejected the drivers’ argument that the government’s decision is “discriminatory and arbitrary”. “Installation of GPS will create a proof/evidence of the route taken by auto drivers. We don’t find anything wrong in the decision of the STA,” the court said.

The court took note of city government counsel Najmi Waziri’s argument that the installation charge has been reduced from Rs 15,000 to Rs 7,500 and it will not cause any financial burden on drivers.

The court was hearing a batch of petitions challenging the government’s notification demanding Rs 15,000 from auto drivers for installing GPS systems.

The drivers had argued that the device is available in the market for Rs 5,000. Drivers contended they cannot be forced to pay the amount for GPS installation as they are daily wage earners and it would harm their livelihood.

The city government had issued the notification in March last year, empowering itself to collect the extra money for setting up a control room for installing GPS on autos.

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