Soon after the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) issued an advisory to the officials asking them to initiate action against auto rickshaws that don’t have Global Positioning System (GPS) installed in the vehicle, the government has decided to act tough against those who have ignored the order till now.
The advisory says, “It is important to fix GPS on all auto rickshaws and manage them through a common control centre like it is done in radio taxis. The calculation of fare can be based on GPS, thus obviating the complaints of over-charging. The periodic fare revision can also be effected from the control centre.”
“It’s the state government that will take decision on installing GPS on auto rickshaws. We are writing to the state transport authority asking it to take appropriate decision in this regard,” said Pune Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Arun Yeola.
Speaking to MiD DAY, DCP (traffic) Vishwas Pandhare said, “Installation of GPS on autos will certainly help reduce complaints like over-charging by drivers. It will also add to the safety and security of passengers. We welcome this move by the MoUD and will support it.”
However, the Rickshaw Panchayat, a federation of auto rickshaw owners and drivers in the city, has decided to oppose any such move. Nitin Pawar, head of the panchayat, said, “Without considering the economic and social conditions of auto drivers, the government has been issuing fatwas every now and then.
While auto rickshaw is a mode of public transport, auto drivers aren’t public servants. Hence, the concerned authorities should consult us before taking any decision. For now, we will oppose the move of asking auto rickshaw owners to installation GPS in the vehicle.”