The transport department is toying with the idea of introducing GPS-fitted meters in autorickshaws to keep a tab on common complaints like overcharging, taking detours to jack up the rates etc. With officials firmly of the belief that unless the cap on the number of autorickshaws in the city is revised, the problem of drivers playing truant it’s the simple demand-supply logic, they say cannot be tackled by the on and off enforcement drives.
GPS -fitted meters will work by feeding in the starting point and the destination. Once that is done, no matter what route the auto takes, it will only show the fare that would have been recorded for the shortest route between the two places. They would obviously be monitored from a central control room. The plan to install GPS-fitted meters in autos is still on the drawing board and we have not worked out the detailed modalities yet.
The department has already started the process of installing GPS in all DTC buses and plan to complete it by 2012. This would mean that things like buses adhering to the timetable, sticking to the route and stopping at all relevant bus stops, will be closely monitored. Even a common control room is feasible. But Verma concedes that there will be just 11,000 buses by 2012 and extending the idea to autos may be slightly more complicated because of the sheer numbers.
The number of autos is 5 times the number of buses. It is a tall task, more so because nobody else in the world has ever tried it. But the autorickshaw problem in Delhi has proved to be resilient to all the conventional methods of tackling it.
Source: Times of India.