Modi's face greets you from auto meters now

Messages on screen talk about clean India campaign

Ahead of the Delhi Assembly polls, GPS-integrated fare meters in about 2,000 autorickshaws in the city flash every now and then messages announcing the launch of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, showing picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well.

The private manufacturer, however, claimed that the BJP is not involved in the move, and nobody is paying him.

“When I realised that the touchscreen of GPS meters can display graphics, I decided to promote PM Modi’s cleanliness appeal,” the proprietor of M/S Navrang Meter House, Tarun Navrang, said.

“It is a social message that Gandhiji had talked about years ago. BJP has no role in it.”
But Navrang appeared open to the idea of making money on advertisements on his meters. When asked about it, Navrang said he will be willing to carry AAP’s message as well, if they pay him for that.

The Aam Aadmi Party which aggressively popularised political ads on autorickshaws during the December 2013 Assembly polls has been putting up keyboard-sized placards behind drivers’ seat highlighting accomplishments of former chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s brief rule.

Navrang claimed that the GPS-devices, which are linked to the internet, provide government-empanelled vendors with a unique opportunity to throw up picture messages with a mere click of mouse.

There are at least a dozen authorised vendors for such gadgets, as per the city traffic department.

“I will keep changing the message from time to time. On Fathers’ Day, I can wish a Happy Fathers’ Day. On the Daughters’ Day, I will post a related picture,” he said.

To address women safety, the Delhi government on April 30 made GPS-enabled meters mandatory for autorickshaws seeking their annual fitness certificate.

The move increased the GPS-integrated fare meter to 35,000 in the city. While in the city, the total autorickshaw count is well over 80,000.

The private manufacture’s initiative has found support from the auto union cell of RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh.

“PM had announced Rs 1 lakh as accident insurance cover under the Jan Dhan Yojna. We will be proud to carry his message,” head of the auto cell Rajendra Soni said.

Earlier this year, the Delhi government had banned political advertisements on all public service vehicles. But the Delhi High Court has stayed the ban.

Comments (+)