Mumbai: Auto, taxi meter recalibration finally picks pace after festive holiday hurdle

The transport authority has set a November 30 deadline for the recalibration of meters on vehicles plying in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

Kamal MishraUpdated: Tuesday, November 01, 2022, 11:18 PM IST
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Mumbai: Auto, taxi meter recalibration finally picks pace after festive holiday hurdle | Picture for representation

Mumbai: The meter recalibration process of 'kali-peeli' taxis and auto-rickshaws is finally picking pace, after initial hurdles and the festive holidays resulted in very few meters being recalibrated since the fare hikes on October 1.

The transport authority has set a November 30 deadline for the recalibration of meters on vehicles plying in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

44,000 black and yellow taxis registered with different RTOs

“The actual process of recalibration of meters was started mid-October, but due to festive holidays very few vehicles came in,” a transport department official said, adding that from Monday, the meter recalibration process gained pace and in the last two days, around 215 taxi meters were recalibrated at the Mumbai Central Regional Transport Office (RTO) alone.

According to the official, currently, around 300 taxis have had their meters recalibrated, but the process is expected to pick up pace in the coming days. Around 44,000 black and yellow taxis are registered with different RTOs in the Greater Mumbai region.

As for the recalibration of auto-rickshaw meters, officials said more than 1,000 auto-rickshaw meters have been calibrated in the last two days. Sources revealed that the recalibration status of auto-rickshaws is slightly better than taxis. “Meters of more than 10% of auto-rickshaws plying in the city have already been calibrated,” said an official. Over 2.30lakh auto-rickshaws are registered with different RTOs in Greater Mumbai.

Few taxi drivers waiting for another fare revision

Asked about the delay in taxi meter recalibration, Mumbai Taximen's Union general secretary AL Quadros said, “There are several reasons responsible for this, including the festive holidays. In the beginning, sufficient chips were also not available in the market. The demand for more money from some authorised meter calibrators was also one of the reasons. Apart from that, after the rise in CNG prices a few taxi drivers have been waiting for another fare revision.” The transport department fixed Rs 500 (per meter) as charges for the recalibration for both taxis and auto-rickshaws, but there was a demand for Rs750-800 at the start of the process.

Mr Quadros said the unions have communicated with taxi operators that fares will not be revised in the near future and the meter recalibration process will gain momentum soon.

Another taxi union leader said, “Most taxi drivers are not from the city and had left for their native place for Diwali.” Ram Yash Yadav, 50, who has been driving a taxi in Mumbai for more than two decades, said, “Recalibration of a meter needs at least two days. Hence I decided to get it done after Diwali.” Yadav is a native of Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh and had gone back home for Diwali. He returned to the city on Monday.

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