I always carry my trusty GPS whenever I head to places I haven't been to. It helps me to quickly locate a place and I don't have to ask for directions. I dont have a vehicle and so I invariably take rickshaws for trips within the city. The infuriating thing about rickshaws is that their meters are frequently tampered with. Yes, even the digital ones.
Yesterday I was heading out to Vasant Nagar in an autorickshaw and carried my GPS with me. The GPS has an odometer which measures distance covered to a very high accuracy. The rickshaw had a "PERFECT" digital meter (model A-786). I quickly realized that it had been tampered since it indicated 2 kms when the actual distance covered was only 1.5 km. I watched as the gap between the GPS reading and the rickshaw meter reading gradually widened. Towards the end of the trip, the rickshaw meter was off by more than 2 kms and still growing.
I started taking pictures as documentary proof. The fellow driving, a young chap probably in this twenties, got suspicious and asked me what I was doing. When I told him that I have a much better meter and explained the error in the rickshaw meter reading he promptly it switched off and agreed to use the GPS reading!
He murmured something about the meter getting hot and hence the error, but that is rubbish since it was digital meter. There is a large scale tampering of auto rickshaw meters in Bengaluru and the traffic police need to take action. The fares are already high as it is, why should we pay even more?
Tampered digital meters show fares that are 30-33% higher than normal
What commuters can do
I just came across this ingenius mobile app called 'Suruk' developed by IIIT-B students Sandeep and Anenth. It has a feature called digital meter that can be used to calculate distance and fare on GPS enabled mobile phones. Check it out.
Complaints must be directed to:
Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)
Government of Karnataka,
No.1, Ali Askar Road,
P.B. No. 175, Bangalore, Karnataka – 560 052
Ph: 080-22253500 26682715 (Res)
Fax 080-22259024 TELEGRAM: MY WEIGHT