RTO to crack down on taxis, autos not having recalibrated e-meters

With the revised deadline for recalibrating electronic meters in taxis and autorickshaws according to the increased tariff over on Saturday, the state transport department will now start penalising those with meters displaying the old fare.

Flying squads of the three Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) will be on the lookout for errant drivers and fine them Rs 50 per day. Similarly, drivers who go to the meter recalibration centres after the deadline will have to pay a fine of Rs 50 for every day of the delay. The RTOs have fixed an upper limit for this fine at Rs 700.

The RTO officers can also suspend the licence of errant drivers for a maximum of seven days.

"Suspension is difficult to enforce unless we detain the vehicles but we don't have sufficient space and have to resort to monetary penalty. I also appeal to citizens to lodge a complain on the toll-free number if they come across any vehicle with electronic meter that has not been recalibrated. They should give the registration number of the vehicle, date, time and location," said V N More, transport commissioner.

More said nearly all autorickshaws and taxis with electronic meters have undergone the recalibration process, which had started soon after the revised tariff came into effect on October 11.

There are 36,322 registered black-and-yellow taxis in the city and nearly 40 per cent of them operate in the suburbs. The number of autorickshaws with active permits in the city is 90,354.

The revised deadline for the recalibration of mechanical meters has been fixed as January 31 as the process is slower and is ridden with technical glitches. Also, many owners of autorickshaws and taxis with mechanical meters are looking to switch to electronic meters.

According to figures from the transport department, ever since the increased tariff has come into effect, about 5,500 taxis and about 22,000 autorickshaws have converted to electronic meters.

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