Tampering with e-meters, taxi drivers warned. Mumbai taxi


By Shashank Rao  www.mid-day.com

Remember the last time you were travelling by a taxi, and had to pay night charge, even though your watch showed it was still five minutes to midnight?

Well, this situation must surely find resonance with many people who travel late in the night and often find a mismatch between the time displayed on the electronic meters and their wrist watches or cell phones.

Night charge, normally, is levied the minute the e-meter strikes 12 at night. However, technically, the late charge needs to be implemented with a buffer time of an extra five minutes. With the new tariff in place — Rs 21 for taxis and Rs 17 for auto rickshaws — the night charge is expected to be a good 25 per cent more than the normal fare.

Sources in the Regional Transport Office (RTO) say that many drivers purposely ask the meter repairers to tweak their e-meters, so that they run faster. The e-metres are mostly tampered with during the checking of batteries. Union leaders claim they have asked their drivers to refrain from such illegal activities. “Many drivers do not pay attention while their e-metres are getting repaired. These things can sometimes happen by mistake,” said taxi union leader AL Quadros. More info