A nine-member committee will now help overcome hurdles in the autorickshaw and taxi meter calibration process and issues related to traffic card display and distribution.
The state transport authorities, on the direction of the chief minister’s office, appointed the committee, which will be headed by L Khade, deputy transport commissioner, enforcement 1.
It will accept and examine suggestions by citizens, commuter groups and auto and taxi unions for improving the system.
“Even though measures have been taken to expedite meter calibration work, possibilities of hurdles can’t be overruled. Therefore, the committee has been appointed to look into issues and resolve it,” said VN More, transport commissioner.
On Thursday, More had issued written directives to the regional transport offices (RTO) in the city to implement an existing rule, wherein auto and taxi drivers have to put up the tariff card if the meter doesn’t show the exact fare.
The committee will include officials from the central, eastern, western and Thane RTOs, Varsha Raut from Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, Thampy Kurian from Mumbai Rickshawmen’s Union, an official from the taxi union, and assistant transport commissioner Yogesh Baug.
“It is possible that a few drivers may try to cheat commuters saying that their meters aren’t calibrated. The committee will suggest the best way to check whether the meter has been corrected,” said More, adding that the panel will also ensure that tariff cards are displayed inside the vehicles.
“We want the drivers to put the fare cards behind their seat as per the permit conditions. All unions have been instructed to inform their members,” said Vikas Pandkar, RTO, eastern suburbs.
Kurian said, “We are preparing stickers to be pasted behind the seat. It will be sent to the authorities for approval.”
More said the penalty for refusing fares or using of bogus card has been increased. “The fine has been hiked from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,500. A police FIR will be registered against drivers found with a bogus tariff card,” he said.