Mumbai: Transport Department mulls GPS-based meters for quicker recalibration

The Maharashtra Transport department is looking at bringing GPS-based meters that can be installed in auto-rickshaws and taxis. This is to ensure that next time e-meters are to be recalibrated; it can be done in a centralised fashion without wasting time, money, and effort. Currently, the procedure of recalibrating these e-meters is slow-paced and tedious which is causing problems to drivers and passengers.

Sources in the Transport department said that they will examine the feasibility of such GPS-based e-meters and will also have meetings with their manufacturers. GPS-based meters would get automatically updated like any software from a central place. Moreover, the RTO authorities claim that they can also come to know if any e-meter can be found tampered with so that they can lock it.

"The option of GPS meters can be explored if found feasible. We will call a meeting with their manufacturers to see if it will work. If the process begins now, we could study it," said Avinash Dhakne Maharashtra Transport Commissioner.

At present, there are issues on the ground faced by drivers who claim to be paying up to Rs 1500 for the recalibration process. This is despite the Transport Department's decision to fix the rate at Rs 700. The unions claim that there has been a low response to auto and taxi meters recalibration due to the high costs involved. These e-metered chips need to be replaced every time there is a change in tariff.

The touts are charging around Rs 250-300 taking the price for recalibration. The Maharashtra government has given time till May 30 to recalibrate e-meters of nearly 2.20 lakh auto rickshaws and 40,000 taxis operating in the city. These autos and taxis will undergo test runs at 13 test tracks across Mumbai suburbs including 5 at Wadala RTO, 5 at Andheri RTO, and 3 at Borivali RTO.

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