Auto unions sulk over 'faulty' new e-meters

Apr 07, 2012, 07:43 IST | Shashank Rao

Members now find fault with the electronic meters, complaining that they are fragile, and prone to tampering; RTO asks them to give proof of their claims

In their latest complaint against electronic meters or e-meters, auto unions have claimed that one of the new e-meters fell off a moving rickshaw just a couple of hours after its installation at Vikhroli.

The unions said that the meter’s fitting gave away while the vehicle was in motion. They added that the Wadala RTO had approved the e-meter.

Apart from this, the unions have also complained that unlike the old metal meters, the e-meters don’t are assembled from different parts, and have gaps from where the internal wires are visible.

Auto unions have complained that unlike the old metal meters, the RTO-approved e-meters are assembled of different parts and have gaps from where the internal wires are visible

“The plastic mould of the e-meters appears fragile. Also, these openings might allow drivers to tweak the wiring,” said a member of the auto rickshaw union headed by Thampi Kurien.

“There are problems in the functioning of two different makes of e-meters. While one set of e-meters shows a fare of Rs 15 after an auto crosses the 2-km mark, the other set displays Rs 14.
We held discussions with officials from the transport department and things are being sorted out,” said Thampi Kurien of Mumbai Rickshawmen’s Union.

The union has registered a complaint with the RTO, stating that the functioning of e-meters is flawed and that they could be tampered with. “These e-meters have been approved by the MMRTA, and if the auto unions are alleging that even these meters are faulty, then they should prove it,” said a RTO official, requesting anonymity.

Sources from RTO said that in the past, auto drivers had tried fidgeting with e-meters, but their plan failed as the meters showed an error message after they were tinkered with.

On March 4, the officials from Wadala RTO had tested a few autos that were fitted with e-meters for their efficacy, at Ghatkopar. “An e-meter will show Rs 14, only after it crosses the first leg of 1.6 km,” explained an RTO official.

“We are trying to resolve the issue,” said V Pandkar, regional transport officer, Wadala. According to sources, if the RTO fails to resolve the issue at the earliest, then auto drivers will have to break the seal to repair and reinstall their meters.

Rs 3,000
Approximate cost of an e-meter

Number of autos fitted with e-meters since April 2 

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