statesman news service
Chennai, 26 August 
Auto-rickshaws in Chennai will be fitted with new meters with global positioning system (GPS) and an electronic digital printer, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Miss J Jayalalithaa said yesterday.
In a statement, she said: "For the first time in India, auto-rickshaws plying in Chennai will be fitted with GPS and electronic digital printer, free of cost, by the government, involving an outlay of Rs 80 crore."
She said commuters will be given a receipt with the distance travelled and the tariff rate. "The operation of the auto-rickshaws will also be monitored effectively," she added.
The meter will have a "panic button" so that a passenger can press it in case of any danger. The device enables monitoring by a control centre.
Further, the state government also announced revision of autorickshaw fares. The government has fixed the minimum tariff rate at Rs 25 for the first 1.8 km and Rs 12 for every additional km. The new fare structure came into force yesterday, Miss Jayalalithaa said in a release. 
The revision of fare has been done as the Supreme Court issued directives last month to the state government to fix the new autorickshaw fares within four weeks taking into account all the relevant factors.
The government has directed autorickshaw drivers to collect new rate cards from regional transport offices by 15 September.
Though the government has made the announcement of new rates, many commuters are skeptical whether Chennai will have metre-based fares for autos. Till now even if metres were installed in autos, the autorickshaw drivers never put the metre on, and they charged as per their will.