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Revised auto fare adds to commuters' woes

A day after the revised fare tariff for auto rickshaws came into effect on Tuesday, the city’s commuters are a unhappy lot, as several believe they are being overcharged by drivers. City’s commuters are complaining that with 90 per cent e-meters not yet calibrated, auto drivers are short-changing them while calculating the fares manually.


Pic for representation

Fare unfair
“With the revised fares coming into operation, there is a huge difference in fares. Today, I boarded an auto to Kothrud from Camp area and the expected fare after revision should be around Rs 100, but the auto rickshaw driver charged me Rs 130. He was taking so much time while calculating the fares from the tariff chart. Meters should be recalibrated at the earliest to ensure transparency,” said Jyoti Joshi, a resident of Mahatma society in Kothrud.

“Before implementing the new fares, the meters should have been updated earlier. This will now affect the commuters. It is not possible to check the chart every time, especially during rush hour,” said Dev Jadhav, a frequent commuter.

Impossible task
RTO officials have circulated a temporary conversion chart to drivers till they reset their meters to the new tariff system. But with October 30 set as the deadline for the auto drivers to recalibrate their meters, commuters and drivers will continue to bicker, as it is not going to be an easy deadline to meet.
Out of the 45,000 rickshaws plying in the city, only 1,000 have managed to recalibrate their meters so far.

The task of resetting them has become impossible due to the shortage of infrastructure and manpower, and hence become an impossible task to calibrate 44,000 e-meters in 14 days.  Expressing doubts about meeting the cut-off date, Bapu Bhave, president of the auto rickshaw federation, said, “There are 40 authorised centres for calibration, which is not sufficient.

MIT recently declared they could only calibrate only 200 to 250 auto rickshaws daily. Due to manpower shortage, it has become a time consuming process. To meet the deadline, a minimum of 1,500 auto rickshaws should complete the procedure daily. Else, it will take two to three months.”  To provide some relief, RTO officials have called for a meeting with rickshaw unions wherein it is expected that they will extend the cut-off date.

45,000
Number of rickshaws in the city

1,000
No of rickshaws whose meters have been recalibrated

Revised fares
Commuters will now have to pay one rupee more for the distance of 1.5 km, an additional Rs 7 for travelling 5 km and Rs 15 more for 10 km, in comparison to the existing fares

Recalibration process
According to the procedure, electronic meters should be calibrated from authorised centres, and then drivers should get the official seal from MIT’s electronic department, which is appointed by RTO. After getting the seal, auto-rickshaw drivers should approach the RTO to get final approval of upgradation  

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