Looking at the increase in petrol prices, people may soon have to go back to commuting in horse carriages, the Bombay high court on Tuesday observed, even as the Maharashtra government on Tuesday filed a report before the court regarding e-meters fitted in autorickshaws.
"With the hike in petrol prices constantly, even auto rickshaws will be getting affected. Cost of living is very high in this city. People might have to start travelling in horse carriages like olden times," a division bench of justices PB Majmudar and RD Dhanuka said.
As per directions of Supreme Court, the Maharashtra government had to submit a compliance report regarding implementation of a notification dated February 17, 2012 that made installation of e-meters mandatory in all auto rickshaws in the state.
The Mumbai Auto Rickshawmens' Union had challenged the compulsory fitting of e-meters, but both the high court and the apex court had dismissed the petition.
The Maharashtra government on Tuesday filed a report before HC stating that since March 1, nearly 6,500 electronic meters have been fitted in old and new autos.
According to an affidavit filed by Joint Transport Commisioner Satish Sahastrabudhe, 2,598 new autos which have been registered have been fitted with e-meters. 3,839 old autos which have come for renewal of fitness certificates have also been fitted with e-meters.
On a request by auto union, the bench has asked the Hakim committee to consider permitting advertisements on autos too, like the ones on buses and taxis. The one-man committee was formed by the government to study and give recommendation on fare revision of the autos.
The committee has also been asked to look into revenue generation for the autos, considering hike in petrol and CNG prices.
The high court has now directed the government to submit further compliance report on August 1.