The Tardeo regional transport office detained four taxi drivers plying without recalibrated e-meters on Monday, two days after the deadline for recalibrating meters lapsed.
The four taxi drivers will be charged either Rs600 as fine or their 7-day permits will be suspended. “We have started taking action against taxi drivers who haven’t got their meters recalibrated,” said Madhukar Jadhav, regional transport officer (RTO) of the Tardeo RTO.
“The driver will first be asked if he is willing to get his e-meter recalibrated. If he does not know how to go about it, officers guide him on where he can get his e-meter recalibrated. We will take action against drivers not willing to get their e-meters recalibrated,” Jadhav said.
Of the 1.5 lakh autos and taxis on city streets, only 64,000 have been recalibrated in the past 45 days. This includes over 19,000 taxis and 46,000 autorickshaws.
Transport authorities started recalibrating meters on October 15, days after hiking both auto and taxi fares. Officials concerned work on weekends and bank holidays.
“The drivers have not responded to our initiative. We were working on Sunday, waiting for drivers to come and get their e-meters recalibrated, but not many turned up,” said VN More, transport commissioner. AL Quadros, General Secretary of Mumbai Taximen’s Union said, “Not many drivers have got their e-meters recalibrated as it was Diwali a few weeks back and there was a shut down after [Sena chief] Bal Thackeray’s death. We have asked authorities to extend the deadline.”
However, More has asked unions to write to the authorities about the problems taxi and autorickshaw drivers face and suggest how officials can resolve these problems. “We will then send a report to the government, which will then decide on extending the deadline.”
“A government affidavit of November 11 states only 14 taxis with mechanical meters have been recalibrated, and not one of the autorickshaws with mechanical meters have been recalibrated. What action can the government take against errant drivers?” said Shirish Deshpande, chairman, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.