Mumbai’s auto-richshaws to get electronic meters

October 9th, 2011 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Oct 9 (IANS) The Maharashtra government Sunday ordered the installation of electronic meters on the around 100,000 auto-rickshaws plying in Mumbai’s eastern and western suburbs to prevent over-charging by the drivers.

At a meeting between Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and 10 unions of auto-rickshaw drivers, the government also rejected their demand to hike fares in view of the recent fuel price hike.

However, Mumbai Auto-rickshawmen Union President Sharad Rao said that the meters will be installed only after clearing the valid objections of the unions.

“We are ready for it, but we have certain genuine reservations and the chief minister has agreed to clear them before implementing the electronic meters scheme,” Rao told IANS.

Chavan said that the matter of a fare hike would be referred to a committee, which would submit its recommendation before the government takes any decision.

Rao said the unions have demanded an annual hike in fares every January to cover rising fuel costs and other inflationary pressures.

“However, Chavan is agreeable to a revision every two years, but we are insisting on an annual hike,” Rao told reporters.

The government has also rejected the unions’ demands to ply in the congested south Mumbai, which is currently served by taxis.

Presently, there are 97,000 auto-rickshaws plying Mumbai’s suburbs and another 650,000 in rest of Maharashtra, giving employment to over two million people, Rao added.

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