You may have faced a lot of trouble commuting as auto-rickshaws stayed off the roads for two days, but it could mean that you will stop getting fleeced soon.
Auto drivers seem to have used the opportunity to rush to meter repair shops to sort out their meters. Over the past two days, more than 15,000 auto drivers from the western suburbs rectified their mechanical meters that had been set to run fast so they could charge more money.
Drivers had gone on a flash strike on Monday protesting the regional transport office’s (RTO) crackdown on tampered meters. The RTO officials had been fining a penalty of Rs 2,600 per driver, and sources at the Andheri RTO said the 60-odd repair workshops in the suburbs were working overtime to rectify faulty meters.
“It’s a good sign that these drivers are repairing the meters for fear of being caught for using tampered meters,” said Bharat Kalaskar, deputy RTO officer, Andheri RTO; its jurisdiction extends from Bandra to Dahisar.
On Monday, the first day of the strike, close to 10,000 autos pulled into authorised and unauthorised meter repair shops.
After over-charging customers for years, auto drivers have now got a taste of their own medicine. Drivers are complaining that the meter repair shops are charging exorbitant rates to sort out the meters.
“The drivers have complained about shops overcharging. We will check whether there is a prescribed fee for repairing a meter,” said auto union leader Shashank Rao.
Drivers are being asked to shell out around Rs 400, when under normal circumstances the fee would have been Rs 100 to Rs 150.