To rid Delhiites of the menace of fleecing auto-rickshaw drivers, the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) will now explore how tamper-free auto fare meters can be made.
EPCA advises the apex court on issues related to transport and pollution in the national capital.
According to its chairman Bhure Lal, commuters often get fleeced even if the auto-rickshaw drivers agree to charge by the fare meter.
“Most fare meters are tampered with and the passengers do not realise that they are paying extra. We are now trying to identify people in this business of meter tampering, the different ways to make meters run faster, how its calibration is changed and the workshops where it is done,” Lal said.
EPCA is examining issues related to auto-rickshaws in the capital and how the cap of 55,000 auto-rickshaws, allowed to run in the Capital, can be revised. A petition was recently filed in this regard in the Supreme Court.
EPCA has to file its report within three months.
The EPCA will also look at the general functioning of auto-rickshaws, issuing of its permits, the verification of its owners and drivers and enforcement of rules and regulations.
The review of the cap is important in the wake of reciprocal common transport agreement (RCTA) signed by Delhi and the neighbouring states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to ensure better connectivity.
The agreement ensures free movement of taxis and auto-rickshaws within the national capital region (NCR).
While the agreement has already been notified, it has yet to become operational especially because of the SC cap on the number of auto-rickshaws in the capital.
The government argues that the deficit between the demand and the supply of autos is one of the basic reasons for problems like overcharging and misbehaviour of auto drivers.