NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Tuesday decided to provide a major relief to autorickshaw drivers in the national capital, reducing various fees they have to pay, including for registration and fitness certificate.
Keeping in mind how autorickshaw drivers had rallied behind Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the 2015 Assembly polls, this is the second big measure announced by the Aam Aadmi Party government to woo the drivers, after it hiked auto fares over a month ago.
According to the government, the cabinet has approved the revision of various fees, including the late fitness fee penalty and the duplicate certificate fee. The new fees will be effective from September 1.
Earlier, the government had decided to increase auto fares and provided relief to the drivers in re-calibration of their meters as per the new fares. Following a number of complaints from commuters and autorickshaw drivers, the government scrapped the practice of having a road test for the autos after the re-calibration of the meter.
The autorickshaw drivers had to go all the way to Najafgarh in west Delhi for the road test after getting the meter updated according to the revised fare at the Wazirpur lab in north Delhi.
The government also issued an advisory to manufacturers, repairers and dealers in autorickshaw fare meters to charge only `400 per meter for upgrading the software post revision of auto fares.
The government announced on Tuesday that autorickshaw owners will no longer have to pay the GPS tracking charge of `100 per month plus GST, and the charge for the SIM for the GPS, which is `495, would also be done away with.
“It can be clearly seen that these decision are being taken looking at the Assembly elections getting closer, but proper implementation of these decisions is the key. The government hiked the fares earlier, but the implementation was very poor.
“Even after more than a month, many auto drivers are struggling with meter re-calibration and so are the users. The taxis should also be given such relief because it is unfair if some of us are left out,” said Rajendra Soni, general secretary, Delhi auto and taxi union.