Fearing that auto and taxi drivers may tamper with recalibrated electronic meters, thus further burdening commuters, consumer activists say the transport department should take adequate measures to prevent this.

A senior transport official said the department had approached IIT-Bombay for a "foolproof e-meter design". "Also, we have decided to cancel the permit of any auto owner/driver proved guilty of tampering a new e-meter.

" While the state government has made it mandatory for autos to switch to e-meters by March 31 and taxis by April 30 of next year, sources said that by the end of the current year, most of these vehicles would anyway have e-meters. "We are ensuring that the new e-meters have proper seals and the distance travelled is not manipulated by the device," a transport official said.

Consumer rights activist Shirish Deshpande said, "Emeters are tamper-evident . I advise commuters to keep a close watch on the e-meter during a journey. If the distance flag drops quickly, it is clear that there is something wrong with the device . Also, after completing the journey, the distance travelled should be checked.

"Also, there are no waiting charges now. So, commuters should not pay for waiting time."

Source: Times of India