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GPS auto meters: Notice to govt for not implementing GO
The Madras High Court has ordered notice to the State government on a plea seeking to effectively implement the Government Order (GO) passed in 2013 that had mandated GPS enabled fare meters with printers in all the auto-rickshaws in the Chennai Metropolitan area.
A division bench comprising Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad before whom the plea came up on Monday ordered notice to the State government represented by its Principal Secretary, Transport Department, Transport Commissioner and Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Ltd.
Raahat-The Safe Community Foundation represented by its Secretary, Surinder Kumar, submitted that despite the Tamil Nadu government passing a GO No 611 on August 28, 2013, which requires affixation of GPS enabled fare meter in autorickshaws so that the public are saved from getting overcharged and additionally have an alarm raising option in cases of any safety related events, the proposal remains a non-starter.
The plea also noted that during the course of the proceedings initiated in this regard in 2016, the then Advocate General for the State had submitted that the installation of GPS enabled digital fare meters in Chennai would be completed within three to four months and thereafter the use of GPS enabled meters would be extended to other cities of the State.
However, the autorickshaw drivers in the State, especially in the state of Chennai have been exploiting the customers for making wrongful gains, the plea said while pointing out that the auto meter policy has been reduced to a mere paper compliance.
The minimum prices are being determined by cartel-like unions of autorickshaw operators and actual prices being negotiated for each transaction between the auto driver and the helpless customer, the plea said.
Also, noting that often individual customers are compelled to negotiate in vain with groups of autorickshaw operators who congregate in what are known as auto-stands and gang-up against the customer, the plea said, GPS enabled fare meter is an effective technological solution to the excesses and abuses of the auto operators.
These meters having a panic switch for the passengers, which are to be connected to police control room, will be a huge step towards passenger safety especially for women travelers, the plea said while adding that even the High Court order dated October 30, 2014 issuing certain directions for ensuring successful implementation of the fare-meter policy by imposition of punitive measures against the willful offenders has not been adhered to.