The state government should have had recalibration infrastructure in place before the auto and taxi fare hike was implemented, observed the Bombay high court on Friday while expressing concern over the government's inability to see the recalibration process through. It has asked the state government for a plan of action on how they would meet the recalibration deadline.
A division bench of justice DY Chandrachud and justice AA Sayed were hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Mumbai Grahak Panchayat challenging the fare hike based on the recommendations made by the Hakim Committee.
The court had on Thursday asked the state government about the pending process and their deadlines.
Unhappy with the figures submitted and the extension of the recalibration deadline, the bench noted: "Evidently there has been a failure in the planning process, which needs to be rectified at the earliest."
The state government, on Friday, reiterated that there are only three centres in the MMRDA region that are equipped to carry out recalibration of electronic and mechanical meters. On an average, the three centers can recalibrate 2,000 meters in a month and around 83,000 meters are still to be recalibrated.
The three centers are located in Bandra, Kandivali and Byculla of which Byculla is off limits for autorickshaws as they are not allowed to run in the island city.
The court was told that the deadline for recalibration is December 15 for taxis and January 31 for autos.
"We have assured the court that we would do everything possible to speed up the process," said assistant government pleader Sandeep Shinde.