Autorickshaw unions protest installation of GPS in 3-wheelers



New Delhi: Commuters in several areas in the capital had to face a harrowing time as thousands of auto-rickshaw drivers went on a strike protesting the city government's decision of making it mandatory installation of GPS in the three-wheelers.

In an effort to rein in the auto drivers, who are known for overcharging, the city government has issued an order asking all autorickshaw owners to install GPS in their vehicles so as to ensure that they run on metres and do not overcharge.

The auto unions said they are not opposed to installation of GPS but the cost of the equipment must be borne by the government. A GPS system cost in the range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000.

"We are not against the GPS. But the cost of it has to be borne by the government," said Rakesh Chandra, general secretary of Auto Drivers Welfare Union.

Commuters in South and East Delhi were hit hard by the strike.

"I generally commute by autos. It was really very difficult get an auto this morning. I had to wait for almost 35 minutes to get an auto near Nizamuddin area," said Sukanya Bose, a resident of Nizamuddin West.

A transport department official claimed that there was "very little impact" of the strike as a few auto unions had extended support to the strike.

The city government, while announcing the hike in auto fares in June last year, had declared that permits of three-wheelers will be cancelled if Global Positioning System (GPS) was not installed in the vehicles.

Transport department had recently asked the auto owners to install GPS as soon as possible.

PTI