Mumbai: Transport dept brings app to curb e-meter tampering post-recalibration

After e-meter recalibration of more than 31,000 auto rickshaws and 675 taxis in the MMR, the Transport Department has come out with a new app. This is for feeding data of each auto and taxi that is being recalibrated. This would help keep tabs in future, in case a meter is opened or tampered with. However, the e-meter recalibrating mechanics and auto and taxi unions are miffed by this move.

The Transport department has come out with a new circular wherein they have created an app called ‘Trans ID Fare Master’ on March 15. This, according to sources, will have to be downloaded by every meter recalibrating centers which is replacing the e-meters in auto rickshaws and taxis across MMR. Moreover, even the ITIs and engineering colleges where initial testing of e-meters takes place and sealing is done, too have to make use of this app.

“The whole point of this app is that detail of the e-meter, the vehicle in which it is installed and in case it is tampered with in future without proper procedure followed, then it will automatically get registered. We can thus keep a tab on all the e-meters,” said an official from RTO on condition of anonymity.

The access to this app will be given to selected people and government authorities only. Once the e-meter is calibrated, the data will have to be uploaded and photograph clicked for each auto rickshaw and taxi. This too needs to be uploaded on the app which will be stored in a cloud. Also, when the polycarbonate seal is put on the e-meter, another photograph needs to be clicked and uploaded.

When road test of any auto and taxi is undertaken, this app will become a point of referral for them which they can keep as a benchmark. However the meter repairers claim that this step has been taken a little too late. The meter repairers will have to digitize data and get trade certificates.

“Almost 20 percent of auto rickshaws have been recalibrated. Introducing this now, seems like doing it in haste. Moreover, this will only increase our work as we have to click photos and upload data as well, which will slow down the pace of work,” said a meter repairer on condition of anonymity.

The unions too are unhappy with this move. “The whole point is that when it’s not connected with Vahan then why a private operator is developing an App. Moreover data of the vehicle and e-meter will also get accessed,” said Thampy Kurien, auto and taxi union leader.

More than 2 lakh auto rickshaws need to be calibrated and the deadline for the same is May 31. However sources in the government said that there is likelihood of this process getting extended with the introduction of this app.

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