With just 10 days to go before the official deadline for passing auto-rickshaws with recalibrated electronic meters (e-meters) as per the new auto fare ends, officials from the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and various auto unions in the city are of the opinion that extending the deadline is the need of the hour.
Bapu Bhave, president of the auto-rickshaw federation, said, “I think the last date of November 30, will have to be extended because it unlikely that all the drivers will be able to recalibrate their meters as per the new fare structure. This is slowing slow down the issuance of passing certificate, and permits to new vehicles.”
Rickshaw Panchayat General Secretary Nitin Pawar seconded Bhave’s opinion. Pawar claimed that the unions had informed the RTO in advance that with two-third of the 45,000 autos yet to recalibrate their meters, the officials had no choice but to extend the deadline. So far, meters of 15,000 autos have been recalibrated at the MIT Centre in Somawar Peth, said Prof Shirhari Bondar from the Department Mechanical Engineering of the College.
He is in-charge of checking the meters. Bondar said despite their capacity of recalibrating 2,000 meters a day, currently they were fine-tuning just 1,000 meters. “There are meters of various companies that come to us, but most of them belong to Sansui. So we devised a machine that checks 10 Sansui meters at one go, against just one at a time from other companies.
Regional Transport Officer (Pune) Arun Yeola said, “We will wait till the last week of November before taking the decision to extend the deadline.
Motor Vehicle Assistant Inspector Jayashree Zine said there are three official centres in the city — MIT, COEP and St Joseph College — where auto drivers could get their meters recalibrated. She said almost 10,000 new autos were issued permit in the city.
Deputy RTO Ajit Shinde said, “We are trying our best to pass autos or issue new permits the very day they come to us. But if the meter is faculty, then the autos are sent back for correction. We need more time because the workload on our staffers is just too much. It seems difficult to meet the deadline as of now as only one-third of the auto rickshaws have been issued passing certificates.”
Number of autos in the city
Permits issued for new autos
How it is done
Once a driver submits his meter at a repairing centre, it is forwarded to a recalibration centre where an engineer fixes it and issues a passing
certificate. The meter is then handed over to its owner. After putting it in place, it is taken to the Aalandi RTO where officials check it for accuracy before passing it. The process takes 2-3 days.
Did you know?
The auto-rickshaw fare has been revised from Rs 11 for the starting kilometre to Rs 17 for the first 1.5 km