The RTO has warned auto and taxi drivers that if they fail to get their e-meters recalibrated, their permit will be suspended for a week and they will be fined Rs 700
As the deadline to recalibrate e-meters of autos and taxis in the city ends today, there are still around 3,000 auto rickshaws and close to 7,500 black-and-yellow cabs that have not changed their e-meters according to the new fares.
The Regional Transport Office (RTO) has already warned rickshaw and taxi drivers that if their e-meters are not recalibrated till September 30, their permit will be suspended for seven days along with a fine of Rs 700.
After which, the permit holder will have to pay Rs 50 per day till he does not get his e-meter recalibrated. The RTO had started the recalibration process on August 17, four days after the High Court had set a 45-day deadline.
“We asked for an extension of four days as the process was started on August 17 by the RTO,” said AL Quadros, taxi union leader. Sources at Andheri RTO, where a majority of autos in the city are registered, say that they have managed to recalibrate close to 96 per cent of autos and taxis.
“We are trying our best to meet the deadline and complete the work,” said S Bhalerao, a regional transport officer of Andheri RTO. However, as per the official figures till September 28, thousands of taxis and autos are yet to be recalibrated (see box for more information).
An RTO official from Tardeo said, “It is possible that many taxis are not plying on the roads anymore, which is why the figures might be off.” Sources claim that on September 29, barely 200 taxis approached the RTO for recalibration. According to the taxi union, there are actually less than 36,000 taxis plying on the road.
>> Vehicles had to change the old chips installed in the meter, get it tested and get the final approval from the RTO, which took close to three days
>> The chip-replacing agencies were initially charging more than the approved Rs 500 from drivers, delaying the process
>> Auto and taxi permit holders also alleged that RTO officials were collecting money from them through touts to get the work done