Auto drivers to get cheaper meters

Facing stiff opposition from the autorickshaw unions, the city transport department has planned to introduce cheaper GPS integrated fare meters.

The move is likely to benefit owners of almost 55,000 autorickshaws. 

Earlier, the Delhi government had issued an order on April 30 making GPS-enabled meters mandatory for autorickshaws to be issued a fitness certificate.

An annual fitness certificate is required for commercial vehicles such as autorickshaws and taxies to ply on the city roads.

Delhi had witnessed an autorickshaw strike earlier this week, after the transport department orders. 

The transport department on Wednesday assured a representation from autorickshaw union that the announcement for cheaper GPS integrated meters is round the corner. 

According to sources, the transport department is planning to empanel vendors that would provide cheaper GPS-enabled meters, which meets the technical specifications laid down by the department.

The transport officials say that the new GPS-enabled fare meters would come for almost half the price.

“We were told that the new GPS-enabled meters would be available for Rs 7,500,” said Rajender Soni of Baratiya Mazdoor Sangh, who met the transport officials on Wednesday.

He said that the representation of autorickshaw drivers asked the transport officials to stay the April 30 order until cheaper GPS integrated fare meters are made available to the autorickshaw drivers.
 
The transport officials, however, say that the department cannot go back on its decision to make GPS-enabled devices mandatory.

The reasons for integrated fare meter, as ratified by the Delhi High Court judgement in 2012, was to provide safe and reliable commuting, and transparent and temper proof system of metering – that would give proof of travel in the form of receipt.

Autorickshaw drivers would have had to pay anything between Rs 14,000 – 18,500 for integrated fare meters, said Soni.

The ten empanelled vendors provide the GPS-enabled fare meters at varying prices.

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