Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Digital fix for auto meters delayed

Digital fix for auto meters delayed

Raghavendra RExpress News ServiceFirst Published : 24 May 2010 05:37:54 AM ISTLast Updated : 24 May 2010 05:47:40 AM IST
BANGALORE: Hassled by tampered auto-rickshaw meters? Despite several promises by the state government, the trouble seems far from over.
Almost a year ago, on July 22, 2009, the transport department issued a draft notification to make digital fare meters mandatory for autorickshaws by amending the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Rules (KMVR) of 1989.
The ministry is yet to issue a final notification in this regard.
On April 29, 2010, Transport Minister R Ashok again announced that a government order making digital fare meters mandatory for autorickshaws would be issued within 15 days.
There is still no sign of the government order.
The final notification is also awaiting the minister’s nod.
Bangalore Auto Drivers’ Souharda Co-operative Limited president Somashekar said making digital fare meters mandatory has just remained on papers.
“The decision is pending for a long time,” he said.
Somashekar said the delay shows lack of commitment towards the issue and the presence of a lobby.
He said the file has been held-up purposefully by the minister. The BBMP polls were also cited as a reason behind the delay.
Adarsha Auto and Taxi Drivers’ Union president M Manjunath said the delay in issuing a final notification was due to vested interests of various autorickshaw unions and elections one after the other.
Joint Commissioner for Transport (Enforcement-South) D Vijay Vikram said the final notification cannot be issued unless the KMVR is amended to make digital fare meters mandatory for autorickshaws, which is yet to be done.
“Hence, it is still optional for autorickshaws registered after April 1, 1991, to have mechanical or digital fare meters,” he said.The transport minister claimed approval has already been given to bring amendment to the KMVR for making digital fare meters mandatory for autorickshaws.
“Final notification will be issued shortly and compulsory installation of digital fare meters will come to effect from June,” he said.

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