The face-off between taxi unions and e-meter manufacturers over the cost of recalibration of their devices to reflect the recently revised tariff means you will have to continue arguing with cabbies over the exact fare.
The state government revised taxi fares - to Rs17 from Rs16 for the first 1.6km, and a hike of 50 paise for every additional kilometre - from March 18, necessitating the recalibration of electronic meters fitted in 20,000 taxis.
But the taxi unions have objected to the Rs550 being charged by manufacturers to reset the meters, and say it is Rs200 more than necessary. The manufacturers, on the other hand, insist the charges are based on the expenses they will incur and have refused to do the job for less than Rs500.
They conveyed this to the transport authorities in a meeting called by joint transport commissioner Satish Sahasrabudhe on Tuesday. "The cost includes charges for testing the meter at a technical institute and other related expenses," said Sagar Patil, marketing manager of Precision Electronic Instruments Co.
Mumbai Taximen Union (MTU), however, feels that the cost is very high. MTU leader AL Quadros said it should not be more than Rs300. "If manufacturers charge more than this, we will have to think about the recalibration. We will decide on this issue in our union meeting on April 8," he added.
Transport department officials say that though they, too, feel the charges are high, they cannot fix the recalibration cost. "We can't decide the market price of e-meter chipsets," said VN More, transport commissioner.