The Bombay high court has upheld the state government’s decision to make electronic meters mandatory for auto-rickshaws across Maharashtra.
“Nobody can be allowed to charge more that he is entitled to,” the court said, referring to complaints of overcharging by tampering mechanical meters. “If a modern mechanism is available for arriving at the exact fare payable, minor complaints here and there would be required to be ignored.”
The court dismissed the petition filed by Mumbai Auto-rickshawmen’s Union challenging a government notification that sought to replace mechanical meters with electronic ones.
The notification makes it compulsory for every new auto-rickshaw being registered in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) after April 1 to have electronic meters. The MMR includes urban areas of Mumbai, Thane and Raigad district. Rickshaws that have already been registered are required to make the switch before the fitness certificate of the vehicle comes up for renewal.
The court brushed aside apprehensions raised by auto-rickshawmen’s union about lack of dealers and repair centers for electronic meters while dismissing the petition. The demand-supply equation would take care of the problem, the court told the union.