The Delhi government today told auto-rickshaw unions that their demand for hike in auto fares will be considered only if they comply with its direction to instal GPS device on their vehicles.
In a meeting, the Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami conveyed to representatives of auto-rickshaw unions that the government will not hike the fare if they do not agree to install the global positioning systems (GPS).
The union representatives told Goswami that auto-rickshaw owners will not be able to bear the cost of installing the GPS device selected by the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Ltd which costs Rs 13,500.
“We told the Minister that auto-rickshaw owners will not be able to buy the device as it is too costly,” a leader of Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh Auto Union said.
The auto-rickshaw unions have been demanding at least a 50 per cent hike in fares citing increase in CNG prices and inflation.
Auto fares were last hiked in June 2010 and the government had added a component in the fare to help auto-rickshaw unions meet the expenditure for the GPS installation.
The Delhi High Court had in September rejected the plea by the auto-rickshaw unions opposing the government’s notification for installation of GPS in the three wheelers.
The court had rejected the auto drivers’ argument that the government’s decision is “discriminatory and arbitrary” and said “installation of GPS would create a proof/evidence of the route taken by auto rickshaw drivers.”
The government has been pushing hard for installation of GPS in the auto rickshaws to ensure better services to the commuters.