Recalibration of auto, taxi meters delayed

Officials blame holidays, unavailability of repairing agencies.

A week before the November 25 deadline ends, meters of only 34 per cent of auto-rickshaws and 47 per cent of taxis in the city had been recalibrated to the new tariff on Friday.

Officials said Diwali holidays and unavailability of meter repairing agencies was causing the delay.

So far, meters of 30,270 of the 90,354 auto-rickshaws registered at the regional transport offices (RTOs) in Mumbai West and East have been recalibrated.

Of the 30,322 black and white taxis registered at East, West and Central RTOs, 14,371 have completed the process.

Tardeo RTO has recalibrated 10,003 of the 16,000 taxis registered with it and pasted yellow stickers on them.

"This week, there were several holidays. RTO officials tried to work as many days as possible, but meter repairing and testing agencies were not available," said a senior official at the transport commissioner's office.

"We are trying to keep up the pressure and ensure most of the remaining auto-rickshaws and taxis get meters adjusted in the last week. We, however, haven't taken a decision yet on what to do with those that miss the deadline."

RTO officials and union leaders said average about 1,000 meters were being recalibrated every day at each of the three RTOs.

"On good days, this figure goes up to 1,500. We hope the number goes up to 2,000 in the last few days," said Thampi Kurien, auto-rickshaw union leader.

"We are encouraging drivers using vehicles with mechanical meters to switch to electronic ones right away, so that they save time and money otherwise needed to recalibrate and switch separately," he said.

"There was a fear of shortage of electronic meters earlier, but the state recently lifted the ban slapped on a big meter supplier (Super Electronic Meter Manufacturing Company) for supply of faulty e-meters after asking it to recall sold equipment," Kurien said.

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