Transport authorities have opened 10 facilities across the capital where autorickshaw drivers can get their GPS SIM activated or recharged, days after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal raised the issue.
The transport department has issued an order authorising MTNL and IDEA cellular services to open five centres each, where these SIMs will be available; while suspending the operations at the existing centres. A senior official said around “five to six centres were issuing these cards so far”.
During Kejriwal’s visit to the Burari Transport Authority on July 17, many auto drivers had complained to the CM about the issues they face in activating or recharging SIM cards.
The CM then directed officials to ensure that these card recharge facilities were made available across the city.
While this assumes importance as a recent transport department inquiry had revealed that around 57% of autos in Delhi do not have functional GPS devices, autorickshaw drivers have also been an important pocket of political support for AAP.
The report had observed that it was mostly because of non-functional devices that auto drivers don’t get GPS cards recharged.
As per the latest order, auto drivers will have to pay around Rs 500 for an annual recharge.
The government is also in the process of forming a committee under the Motor Vehicles Act to revise the auto fares. The last revision had taken place in 2013.