Don't see a tariff card behind the autorickshaw or taxi driver's seat? File a complaint. This is what transport commissioner VN More wants commuters to do when they come across errant drivers.
On Thursday, the transport authorities directed all auto and taxi drivers to put up the tariff card inside their vehicles. "If commuters come don't find the tariff card, they should insist that the driver put it up and file a complaint on our helpline," said More.
The offenders would have to pay fine of Rs 100 every time they are caught, he added.
Activists welcomed the move. "It's a good initiative, but implementation is the key. Also, copies of the authentic card should be given to traffic constables to check whether the ones put up by the drivers are correct," said Sunil Mone, a consumer activist.
However, auto and taxi unions claimed shortage of tariff cards could delay implementation of the directive.
"One of the permit conditions is that the tariff card should be put up behind the driver's seat. But then we will need two rate cards, as the driver will keep one in his possession. For this, the RTO need to supply sufficient cards," said AL Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen's Union, adding that currently 5,000 cards had been given out.
Shashank Rao, assistant general secretary, Mumbai Autorickshawmen's Union, also said that they needed two cards per driver. "If the directives have been given, we will instruct our drivers to put them up," he said.
Earlier, in the day political parties had demanded that the transport authorities enforce the rule. "When taxi and auto drivers are receiving their rightful remuneration then it is the right of the people to know that they aren't getting fleeced," said state Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant.
BJP leader and Opposition leader in legislative council Vinod Tawde said, "The transport department should give them [auto, taxi drivers] time to put up the cards, but action should be taken if they fail to do so," he said.
Political parties also said they would ask affiliated transport unions to direct their members to follow the rule. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, "All unions should abide by the law and we will ask our members to display the tariff card as per the rule."
Parties said the card should be made available on mobile phones.