Metal boxes on GPS auto meters affect monitoring: Delhi govt

The monitoring of 15,000 new autorickshaws with GPS-enabled meters has been affected due to signal disruption caused by metal boxes being used to enclose these meters. The Transport department said it is asking dealers and autorickshaw drivers not to install such boxes, but the drivers say these guard against theft.

"The metal boxes, which have been installed over GPS meters, lead to signal disruption and monitoring issues. We have asked dealers not to allow metal boxes to be used over the meters. If need be, only plastic boxes should be used by autorickshaw drivers to protect meters from theft,'' a Transport department official said.

Most of the new autorickshaws have got the metal boxes installed. The Transport department is to issue 45,000 new auto permits, which make installation of GPS-enabled meters mandatory.

"Auto drivers have been asked to remove these metal boxes. If they don't, then these will be taken out during enforcement drives,'' the Transport department official said.

Transport minister Ramakant Goswami said if autorickshaw drivers do not adhere to rules and regulations, action will be taken against them. "If they violate any rule, action will be initiated,'' he said.

The autorickshaw unions claim they are not doing anything illegal, and that these metal boxes have been provided by auto dealers. Many of the new autorickshaws do not have a SIM card required to activate the GPS. Data of around 1,000 auto permits with GPS-enabled meters came under the scanner recently since information given by the permit holders was found to be inaccurate.

"The metal boxes are given to us by dealers. We do not purchase them on our own. The bigger issue is that the GPS of several autos is still not functioning as they do not have SIM cards,'' said Kishan Verma, president of the All Delhi Auto Taxi Transporters Congress Union.

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