Following the directive issued by National Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM), so far only 3500 taxis have installed electronic billing services in their vehicles.
NBSM issued a public notice on December of last year that said different batches of taxis must install the billing system from the first day of 2017.
NBSM Director General Bishwo Babu Pudasaini had said, “We have created different groups based on their registration numbers and issued them deadlines to install the billing system accordingly”.
For instance, taxis with numbers Ba2Ja 3000 to Ba2Ja 3200 will have to install the printing system from Jan 1-7. Similar deadlines have been issued to other cabs based on their registration numbers.
There are around 10,000 taxis operating in the valley and only 3500 have installed the system. The taxis remaining have only till Jun 22 to install the billing machines giving them about one and a half months. If any taxi does not have the system installed by June 22, the drivers will have their license seized. Installing an electronic billing machine will cost from Rs 5,000-Rs 9,000 and it must be renewed yearly.
This directive was issued in Jan this year in a bid to stop taxis from overcharging the passengers following issues and complaints of variable rates by taxi drivers, especially during the night hours. In some cases, the taxi meters had been tampered with to overcharge the passengers. Using this system, the passengers will get a receipt at their destination stating the registration number, distance covered by the vehicle and the total fare. With this system, the meter tampering can be spotted easily. Plus the passengers can use the receipt as evidence if they suspect foul play and file a complaint. This also makes it more convenient for passengers to trace a taxi if they forget their belongings.
NBSM has also issued a public awareness program to educate the public about the new implementations in the taxis and the taxi drivers about installing the billing machines.
Pudasaini expects this project, which began as a pilot on Dec 2016, to be fully completed by Aug 2017.