The 13-member committee will prepare technical specifications and standards and includes govt. officials, traffic police and professors from city universities

Even as autorickshaw drivers struggle to get their meters recalibrated before the October 15 deadline, a proposal for better monitoring of the vehicles by using global positioning system (GPS) moved forward, with the government on Tuesday constituting a technical committee.

Announced last month along with the new fare structure, the plan involves installing electronic digital fare meters with printers and GPS in existing autorickshaws free of cost.

The exercise is estimated to cost the State government Rs. 80.49 crore. The expenditure is to be met from the Road Safety Funds.

The initiative will bring in multiple benefits for passengers, with the GPS helping track autorickshaws with tampered meters and whose drivers overcharge. Most importantly, the GPS will come in handy when the vehicles are used to commit crimes. Receipts generated by the printer will serve as proof of travel.

A government order approving the formation of a 13-member technical committee — including officials in the transport commissionerate, Elcot, finance department, traffic police, controller of weights and measures — said the panel would prepare the technical specification and standards with regard to the electronic digital fare meters, printers and GPS.

A professor from the electronic and communication engineering department, Anna University; head of the instrumentation engineering department, MIT, Chromepet; director of legal metrology, government of India; IIT-Madras professor Sivanandan and senior technical director, NIC, E. Iniya Nehru will also be part of the committee.

The order said that while announcing the new fares, the government had said a technical committee would be constituted to work out the details of the project and technical feasibility to finalise the system for an auto enabled GPS monitoring system with a helpline. The process of procurement, through tenders, is to be completed before February 28, 2014.

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