Response People say the department is not serious in taking action

In response to the Public Eye feature on legal metrology, Swarnalata Thounaojam says in her email: I was extremely happy to see the article "What do you do if you are short-changed?" I took an auto with an electronic meter from BTM 2nd stage 16th Main to St. Marks Road (India Garage). But the fare came to Rs. 59 against the usual Rs. 48.

I called up the Metrology Department and a woman picked up the phone (she refused to give me her name). I gave her all the details but she refused to register my complaint saying that I do not have the license plate number. She disconnected the phone. If I have the relevant details, why cannot the Legal Metrology Department call up the RTO and get the license number? As said in another article, the Metrology Department is not serious about solving the rampant malpractices of auto drivers in Bangalore. Are we being fooled? I am going ahead with this complaint and I will see whether the Government authorities are serious about handling these issues or merely publishing articles in newspapers to feel good about themselves.

G.S. Narayan of Jayanagar 4th T Block, says: "The work of Legal Metrology Department is important but the department itself is `malnourished.' With gigantic work on hand, it is manned by a small number of inspectors and field personnel. The result: work suffers. Consumers alone can stem the rot by keeping a watchful eye on autorickshaw meters and catching the erring drivers. I once caught an autorickshaw driver with faulty meter on the wrong foot and made him accept the correct fare. The sale of water bottle for Rs. 250 is sinful. The well-known brands should be allowed to open their own stalls in such units and sell goods at MRP. The Legal Metrology Department should periodically publicise the malpractices in trade and install complaint boxes in all busy centres."

Vinod says in his email: "I have a two-wheeler. I have got cheated many times by two petrol outlets one in the Bhashyam Circle (near Sadashivnagar) and another one in Malleswaram. The modus operandi: you go to fill petrol for a two-wheeler and ask for five litres and four packets of 40ml oil. They will toss 4 sachets of oil into the funnel and pretend cutting them inside the funnel. Actually, they would have put two empty sachets. This has happened to many vehicle users. Even the petrol company is not bothered to take any action. Whenever I have pointed out these irregularities to the managers concerned in the petrol stations, they `pretend' to be pulling up their employees. In reality they too are involved. Will the Legal Metrology check this?

Rakesh K. of Madivala Post says: I am very happy to see an article. I am very much in need of such information. Recently I heard of over radio for complaining online issues regarding violation of consumer rights. This kind of awareness is very much needed. But all this makes sense only if the departments concerned take necessary action.