Auto drivers have been given 45 days to adjust electronic digital meters with revised fares

The calibration of autorickshaw meters with revised rates will begin in the city on Friday.

Several of the 42 authorised mechanic shops in the city are set to receive ICs from manufacturers in various parts of the country.

“We have sent the government’s directions to the manufacturers. The ICs will reach on Friday. We will start work on calibration of fare meters with additional technicians,” said B. Nizam, one of the authorised technicians in the city.

The government on Sunday said meters of autorickshaws fitted with electronic digital meters shall be calibrated according to the revised fare structure within 45 days from the date of publication of notification in the Tamil Nadu government gazette.

Some drivers who visited authorised technicians in Pudupet and Chintadripet areas said they had been asked to shell out between Rs. 400 and Rs. 450 for calibration using the new IC.

“Over 70,000 autorickshaw drivers will have to spend Rs. 3 crore in the 45-day period. This is not necessary as the government has said the revised fares will be printed on tariff cards and supplied to all autorickshaws,” said Narasimhan, an auto driver. “The old meter will show the distance travelled and we will be able to calculate the revised fare using the tariff card,” he said.

Senior transport officials said they had asked authorised technicians to calibrate the meters to avoid arguments between commuters and drivers. “Some drivers may not be able to calculate the revised fare with the old meter and a new fare card,” said an official.

The government has ordered that fare cards and conversion tables should be displayed inside autorickshaws until meters are calibrated as per the revised fare structure. The conversion table should be authenticated by regional transport officers.

By February 28, 2014, the existing contract carriage autorickshaws plying in the Chennai metropolitan area will get electronic digital fare meters with printer and GPS, free of cost.

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