New Delhi: Several auto and taxi unions on Wednesday protested Delhi government's decision to make Global Positioning System (GPS) installation in their vehicles mandatory, saying the device won't serve its intended purpose of stopping "sexual harassment" in the capital.
Transport minister Gopal Rai held a public hearing at Burari transport authority where drivers of autorickshaws, taxis, radio taxis, e-rickshaws and gramin sewa raised their issues before him.
At the hearing, most drivers demanded that GPS be removed from the vehicles as in the name of installing this device, they are being "harrased" by the officials.
"There is no benefit of GPS in autos as it has failed to serve its main purpose. There are several persons whose autos fitted with GPS were stolen, but they could not be found either by police or department.
"We are forced to get meter having GPS installed at a cost of Rs 17,000 or Rs 18,000. Besides, we are also asked to pay 2,700 anually and in the name of GPS, we are being harassed. GPS won't stop rape in Delhi," Rishi, an autorickshaw driver, said at the public hearing.
Unions also alleged that despite paying Rs 2,700, they are given a receipt of Rs 1,350 and suspected a "scam" in the manner in which it was being done.
Thereafter, Rai said that government would ensure that autorickshaw and taxi operations can soon buy GPS at cheaper rates in the city.
"Transport Department will enlist the companies which can provide meters having GPS ranging from Rs 8,000 to 9,000 to auto and taxi drivers," the minister said.
Rai said that government will also ensure that no corruption takes place at all offices of Transport Department.
Transport department was directed to upload all details pertaining to existing autos and taxis stands across the national capital so that they get to know about parking space reserved for them and they could not be challaned by the Delhi Traffic Police.
The Minister also directed the officials to implement 'Help Desk' at all the transport offices and provide water facility.
Some issues were also sorted out by the minister at the spot. He also directed the transport department to provide reserved seats for disabled persons in front raw inside the bus.