Bigger fines for errant auto, cab drivers | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Bigger fines for errant auto, cab drivers

The city’s transport authority has decided to come down heavily on autorickshaw and taxi drivers who fail to recalibrate their meters and those who do not clearly display their identity and tariff cards.

mumbai Updated: Dec 13, 2012 01:20 IST
HT Correspondent

The city’s transport authority has decided to come down heavily on autorickshaw and taxi drivers who fail to recalibrate their meters and those who do not clearly display their identity and tariff cards.

An order to this effect was issued by the Mumbai Metropolitan Road Transport Authority (MMRTA) early this week. The enforcement has started with immediate effect.

The MMRTA has also decided to penalise drivers for plying autos or taxis without a fitness certificate by suspending their permit for at least 10 days or imposing a minimum penalty of Rs1,000 on them.

The new order stipulates that an auto or taxi permit-holder who fails to recalibrate his meter or replace a mechanical one with an e-meter could have his permit suspended for seven days or be imposed a compounding fee of Rs700.

If permit-holders do not display tariff and identity cards, they stand to be suspended for five days or will have to pay a compounding fee of Rs500.

However, considering the large number of taxi and autorickshaw meters that have still not been recalibrated, the transport department has issued fresh deadlines for them to get the work done. For e-meter calibration, the new deadline is January 15, while mechanical meters need to be replaced by January 31 next year.

According to transport officials, this is the first time such harsh rules have been imposed. “If the meter is not recalibrated or an e-meter is not installed within seven days of the deadline, an additional penalty of Rs50 will be charged per day or the suspension period will be increased,” said a senior official requesting anonymity. The fine for not having a fitness certificate will see a similar increase of Rs100 a day.

AL Quadros, chief of the Mumbai Taximen’s Union said, “This is an effort by the government to merely collect money.”

Shashank Rao of the Mumbai Autorickshaw Union, said the directive was a futile one. “It doesn’t make sense to display tariff cards because by next March, all autos will have e-meters.”