Mumbai: Recalibration of taxi meters to charge new fares to begin today

Taxi drivers allege dealers demanding double the charge; state transport authorities deny allegations, say the amount is fixed at Rs 500

Kamal MishraUpdated: Thursday, October 13, 2022, 08:04 AM IST
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The next step for auto rickshaws and taxis after the rise in minimum fares is the recalibration of metres. While the exercise for auto rickshaws started on Wednesday in Andheri and over two dozen vehicles came, for taxis, it’s likely to begin Thursday. However, taxi drivers have alleged that authorised dealers are demanding extra money for recalibration. Transport officials have denied these allegations.

As per rules, all taxis and autos must recalibrate their fare metres through 28 authorised dealers and then get approval from the Regional Transport Office (RTO) after clearing the required practical test of 1.5km.

On Wednesday, though, no taxis turned up at the Tardeo RTO. Officials hope that they will start coming in today.

Meanwhile, taxi drivers said that the recalibration fee being charged by dealers is in the range of Rs1,200 to Rs1,250. When they insist that the state transport authorities have fixed the charges at Rs500, the dealers refuse recalibration on some pretext or the other.

Supporting the allegations, Mumbai Taximen’s Union General Secretary AL Quadros said, “Considering the fare revision and that all taxis need to recalibrate their metres, the dealers want to make a killing from it.”

Mohammad Shaik, a 52-year-old taxi driver, said, “It’s a time consuming process and needs one full day. It needs to be planned accordingly.” Ram Naresh Singh, 45, another taxi driver said, “I contacted an authorised dealer on Wednesday and was told that there is a long waiting list. However, an agent said it could be done within a few hours if I am ready to shell out Rs1,200.”

A senior transport department official, arguing that the allegations are baseless, said that the charges are already decided by the RTO in association with meter manufacturing firms.

How A Metre Is Recalibrated

An authorised dealer removes the old seal and fixes the new chip with updated fare. After paying the standard fare of Rs500, the metre is tested at level 1 by the dealer. The next step – conducted in the presence of RTO officials – is a real-time road test of 1.5km. Following this, the vehicle is free to ferry passengers.

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