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Thursday , 22 February 2024

GPS proposed for Delhi auto-rickshaws

The Delhi government has proposed installing of global positioning systems (GPS) on all auto-rickshaws in New Delhi. The move would help traffic authorities track and prosecute rickshaw drivers who refuse to ply their vehicle when commuters request to be taken to certain destinations, and those who overcharge passengers, often taking long and circuititious routes. To improve passengers’ security, a panic button would also be provided which passengers could press in case of need. But the proposal has not gone down well with the city’s auto-rickshaw drivers. They feel that paying `10,000 for getting the GPS device and र15,000 as annual fee is too high for them as they live on meagre incomes. Their average income is about र6,000 a month whereas a new auto-rickshaw costs about र1,35,000. With bank service charges on loans taken to buy the auto-rickshaws, this cost rises up to four times the amount. Recently auto-rickshaw drivers went on a one-day strike to protest the measure following which the government scrapped the requirement of paying र10,000 for getting the GPS and decreased the annual fee to र7,500. On a suit still pending in the court challenging the government’s decision to implement the GPS, a stay has been given by the court till it decides on the matter. Besides the cost of the device, critics have been reported to claim that the government does not have a clear plan to implement the scheme. They have pointed out that the radio taxis launched a year ago in the city have still not been connected to any control room, and the GPS devices installed in them are not being utilised.

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