Pimpri-Chinchwad auto-rickshaws will have to ply by meters from May 1News — By The Desk on April 19, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Indian Express: For long, auto-rickshaw drivers have refused to ply by meters in the industrial town of Pimpri-Chinchwad. Not any more. From May 1, auto-rickshaws will have to ply by meters or face cancellation of their permits.
Deputy Regional Transport Officer Jeetendra Patil said all new auto-rickshaws coming for registration will have to compulsorily install the electronic meter. “This is the state government’s directive. There is no other alternative. The auto-rickshaws in Pimpri-Chinchwad will have to carry commuter by e-meters only,” he said.
From May 1, the e-meter norm will apply to new auto-rickshaws. “But for the old auto-rickshaws, they will have to install e-meters as and when they come for ‘passing’. This means, it will take nearly a year for all old auto-rickshaws to be fitted with e-meters.”
Patil said every year auto-rickshaws come to the RTO for “passing” during which the RTO officials examine the vehicles and fitness of meters. “During the ‘passing’ exercise, we do caliberation of the meters every year. It is compulsory for all auto-rickshaws,” he said. There are about 4,000 old auto-rickshaws plying in various parts of Pimpri-Chinchwad. He said if the auto drivers refuse to install e-meters, they will refuse the ‘passing’ of the vehicle. “If we refuse ‘passing,’ then they cannot ply on roads,” he said. Meanwhile, the auto-rickshaw drivers are not happy with state government’s directive.
“They should not make e-meters compulsory. As it is we are hard-pressed to get passengers in Pimpri-Chinchwad. If they make e-meters compulsory, we will be hit hard,” said Nazir Shaikh, an auto-rickshaw driver. The commuters are happy but are sceptic. “It is good to hear that RTO has decided to act tough. But in the past they have acted tough for a few months and then completely forgotten about it. In Pimpri-Chinchwad, auto-rickshaws run at their whims and fancies and not by government norms,” said Sanjeevani Pandey, a resident of Chinchwad. However, Patil said the government is serious in implementing the government directive.