Dealers and repairers may be involved in tampering with e-meters, say RTO officials
Shocked to have discovered three cases of tampered electronic meters in autos in the past three weeks, the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) have launched a hunt for the culprits who actually tampered with the e-meters.mumbai Updated: Jul 13, 2012 01:04 IST
Shocked to have discovered three cases of tampered electronic meters in autos in the past three weeks, the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) have launched a hunt for the culprits who actually tampered with the e-meters.
E-meters have become mandatory for new autos from March 1 and for old autos from April 1. The state transport department has introduced e-meters in the belief that they would be tough to tamper with.
RTO officials suspect that some e-meter dealers are involved in the tampering, apart from illegal meter repairers. “An e-meter’s circuit and mechanism are complicated. Any roadside meter repairer can’t tamper with it unless he has complete knowledge of how it functions,” said an official from Wadala RTO, on condition of anonymity.
“One cannot rule out the RTO officials’ suspicion as to give a bad reputation to other manufacturers’ products, some dealers may be involved in the tampering of e-meters,” said a manufacturer, requesting anonymity.
Of the 95,000 to 1 lakh autos in Mumbai, around 10,000 autos have so far been fitted with e-meters.
In an attempt to put a brake on the tampering of e-meters, the transport department has directed RTOs to cancel permits of such autos and file a first information report (FIR) against the permit holder and the driver.
Shashank Rao, union leader of Mumbai Auto-rickshawmen’s Union, demanded that action also be taken against e-meter repairers, dealers and manufacturers. “The state should suspend the licence of manufacturers till the inquiry is complete,” Rao said.
Union leader Tumpi Kurian said taking action against an auto permit holder is not always right as drivers often tamper meters.
Mumbai Taximen’s union leader AL Quadros said the decision to cancel permits is “unconstitutional” and the RTO drive to check e-meter an “eye wash”.
Consumer activist AV Shenoy said he has sent a letter to the transport commissioner demanding that an expert panel figure out whether the current e-meters are tamper-proof.