BANGALORE: The auto rickshaws in Bangalore have been continuously asked to upgrade their meter to electronic ones to save them as well as the passengers the trouble of haggling in a quarrel. However, we still find a lot of them running on the mechanical meters. City Express looks into the problems surrounding the installation of electronic meters in the city.
At present, the city has about 50,000 autos with electronic meters. But, at the same time there are around 30,000 autos driving without the electronic meters.
M Manjunath, the president of the Adarsh Auto Union, said, “We oppose the government diktat to install electronic meters in old auto rickshaws as the government is not ready to grant sufficient amount of subsidy for meter replacement. Installing a electronic meter costs Rs 3500.
Hence, we demanded the authority to provide at least Rs 2000 and the remaining Rs 1500 could be borne by the auto drivers themselves.” He further added, “It is mandatory for all new autorickshaws to have electronic meters before they approach the RTO for registration. However, we have not forced this rule on the old autos even though government has made it compulsory. The government agreed to pay only `1000 which is a very negligible amount. We had submitted memorandum before four Chief Ministers on four different occasions.”
During the SM Krishna regime when all the autos were converted into LPG gas conversion kits, the then government provided a subsidy of Rs 2000. Even this government can initiate similar measures.”
When we contacted Regional Transport Officer, Secretary (South), B P Umashankar, he said, “ We are granting Rs 1000 for replacement of the meter. As of now, the need of the hour for the old autos is to go for and new autos are told to calibrate to the new fares.” With the increase in fares, upgrading of mechanical meters to electronic meters will hopefully end the petty fights and arguments between the auto drivers and the passengers.