If you find a taxi or an auto rickshaw still using mechanical meters after January 15, feel free to complain to the Regional Transport Office (RTO). The deadline, which was April 30 for taxis and March 31 for the auto rickshaws, has been advanced by nearly three months by the transport department.
The RTO’s decision to expedite the process came after the Bombay High Court asked them to accelerate the process in December. They now hope to complete the installation of e-meters as part of the road safety fortnight campaign.
The revised deadline means that taxis and auto rickshaws who haven’t switched to electronic meters will not be allowed to ply their vehicles after January 15.
The RTO has proposed to levy fines of Rs 1,000 on every auto rickshaw or taxi that fails to follow the deadline. “This fine is applicable for the first 10 days after January 15. Later, Rs 100 will be added to this fine amount everyday,” said M Jadhav, RTO officer (Tardeo), who is in-charge of vehicles plying in the island city.
Moreover, RTO officers are to impose a fine on permit holders and drivers who come after January 15 to upgrade to electronic meters.
“Passengers are free to complain to us if they find an errant auto rickshaw or taxi driver after January 15,” said V Pandkar, RTO officer (Wadala). The Wadala RTO keeps a watch on vehicles plying on the eastern suburbs between Sion and Mulund.
Currently, there are only 1,000 taxis and less than 10,000 auto rickshaws with mechanical meters, claim sources in the RTO. Previously these public modes of transport had the leeway to change over to e-meter either within the deadline or when they went for the annual inspection of the vehicles.
Sources claimed that complaints about drivers using mechanical meters not carrying tariff cards have reduced significantly after e-meters were fitted.