55% autos, 33% taxis miss meter deadline

The Saturday deadline for fresh calibration of autorickshaw and taxi meters in tune with the new tariff has not been met by a chunk of vehicles in the city and a fresh deadline is likely and may be set as early next year.

As on Saturday, 50,000 of the 90,354 autos and 10,000 of the 30,322 black and yellow taxis had their meters reading the old tariff.

All meters tuned to the revised tariff have been passed by RTOs and have a yellow sticker pasted on them.

"Due to the recent bandh in the city and festive season, all taxis were not able to calibrate the meters. We have sought an extension up to January 15, to which the state transport department has agreed. However, we are yet to receive a formal notice," said A L Quadros, general secretary of the Mumbai Taximen Union.

He added: "In case of refusal to extend deadline, we shall not fight the government but continue charging passengers the earlier tariff".

Taxi and auto unions will have a series of meetings with the state transport commissioner as well as manufacturers of electronic meters to discuss deadline extension.

"We want a certain make of meters to be installed but they are currently not available. We want the deadline to be extended to March 2013. We need to ensure later there are no issues of maintenance and availability of spare parts," said autorickshaw union leader Thampi Kurien.

Meanwhile state transport commissioner V N More confirmed that calibration as per the new tariff will continue on on Sunday and defaulters will not be fined as yet. "There will be meetings in the coming week with all involved parties regarding the deadline and accordingly, a proposal will be sent to the government. By next weekend things regarding the deadline will be clear," More said.

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