Over 80 p.c. of autorickshaws running on tampered meters
Digital meters to ensure transparency
Transport Minister reviews situation
HYDERABAD: Ruling out further negotiations with autorickshaw unions, Transport Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana has set December 1 deadline for auto drivers to replace their mechanical meters with digital ones.
The government has also decided to allow maxi cabs, seven-seater autos and tempos to carry commuters in the twin cities to avoid inconvenience to people. The State Road Transport Corporation has already pressed 640 additional buses into service and another 220 have been kept in reserve while the railways has agreed to operate extra MMTS services during the strike period.
The Minister, who reviewed the situation arising out of the indefinite strike by auto unions with senior Transport and RTC officials, told reporters here on Tuesday that the unions were bent upon continuing with the mechanical meters that could be easily tampered with.
The department that launch drive twice, the first in January, had come to a conclusion that more than 80 per cent autos were running on tampered meters and commuters were made to cough up additional sums.
The department would continue its special drive against tampered meters. A penalty of Rs. 500 would be levied or the drivers would have to undergo simple imprisonment. Digital meters would ensure the much- needed transparency both to the auto-driver and the travelling public.
Responding to queries, he refuted reports that the government had decided to replace autorickshaws with cars at one stretch.
It was proposed to allow drivers to sell their autos which plied for nine to ten years and use the sale amount as margin money for availing a loan at 3 per cent interest.