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Testing times for autos

On Tuesday, consumer activists from the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) and officials from the Wadala Regional Transport Office (RTO) began a survey that will study meter readings of autorickshaws in correspondence to fuel consumption, distance travelled and traffic conditions.

After planning to begin the survey at 8 am from Eastern Express Highway, Ghatkopar, volunteers of MGP had to wait for over an hour for RTO officials. They showed up late, blaming their tardiness on the unavailability of rickshaws that would be used for the survey, said a consumer activist, on condition of anonymity.

One rickshaw headed to Mulund after filling up the CNG tank to full capacity. Then they travelled to Goregaon covering a distance of10 km. During this time they made notes of fuel usage, meter readings, duration of the journey and other necessary details.

The first leg of the survey saw consumer volunteers taking four rickshaws in four opposite directions while observing CNG fuel consumption under different conditions. “The whole purpose of this survey is to know how much fuel an auto rickshaw consumes on a congested vis-a-vis an empty road, when the rickshaw carries a passenger or runs empty,” said Wadala RTO’s senior official A Deshpande.

On Monday, the second leg of the survey will monitor the meter reading corresponding to the distance travelled.

Meanwhile, a similar survey at Tardeo could not be carried out on Tuesday due to shortage of consumer activists. Andheri RTOs will conduct the survey on May 10. The MGP also plans to undertake a similar survey for taxis starting on Wednesday. 

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