Govt fails to install meters in auto rickshaws; commuters aghast
Srinagar, May 16: At a time when Delhi government was planning to install GPS in auto rickshaws to avoid meter tampering, the Jammu and Kashmir government is still struggling to install fare meters in the rickshaws here.
From several years, the government had been mulling to make the meter installation obligatory for rickshaws, which experts say has only been confined to meetings and files.
Though it is obligatory for rickshaws to install meters under Motor Vehicles Act, hundreds of commuters travelling by these three wheelers had been complaining of overcharging and indifferent attitude.
“The meter indicates the distance and rate per kilometer and Jammu and Kashmir is the only state wherein the auto rickshaws are plying without it,” experts told Greater Kashmir adding the Legal Metrology, Traffic police and Regional Transport Authority had a role in installing these meters.
As per rules framed by WMD, three-wheelers have to charge Rs 12 for the first kilometer and Rs 9 per kilometer for subsequent travel.
According to an official in Traffic department, the department of Weights and Measures was responsible for not installing these meters in auto rickshaws. “A meeting was held to install meters but there was no consensus on the issue,” he said adding “There is no rate list issued by Weights and Measures department.”
Superintendent Police (Traffic) Shoket Hussain told Greater Kashmir that they book offenders under general offences. “Installing meters will do away with overcharging, but as rickshaws do not operate on meters, action under general offence could be only taken,” he said.
He admitted that “There is no rate list issued by Weights and Measures Department.” “It becomes difficult for us to take cognizance against the violators.”
Regional Traffic Officer, Muhammad Anees said the meters were installed in auto rickshaws, but admitted they were not functional. The reason, he says was an understanding between ‘user’ and the rickshaw driver.
“Every year during fitness check auto drivers have to produce certificate issued by Weights and Measures Department with ARTO. We see every provision during fitness check, but they don’t operate meters on roads. We fine the offenders, but cannot fine more than Rs 100 under the provision. We fined 857 auto rickshaws last month,” Anees said.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 16 May 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 16 May 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 May 2010 00:00:00 IST
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