With reports of crimes against women rising across Indian cities,the Tamil Nadu government has decided to a install a GPS connected panic button in all autorickshaws in Chennai as part of its measures to regulate the much-maligned mode of transport.
All autorickshaws plying in the city will soon have an electronic digital printer meter with GPS which will not only tell the passenger the distance travelled and the fare,but will also have a panic button that will enable the police to assist any passenger at the earliest. A control room will monitor the movement of the vehicles.
Supplying meters for all the 71,470 autorickshaws in Chennai for free will cost Rs 80 crore,but will earn Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa applause from the city’s middle-class,who have been complaining about the exorbitant fares and the unruly conduct of drivers. Previous efforts to streamline and implement the fare have been unsuccessful.
Auto unions have been demanding implementation of a a realistic fare structure,pointing out that the last revision took place in 2007 after which fuel costs and general expenditure has risen greatly.