Delhi Govt. Finally Lifts Ban On Uber

After almost half a month of confusion over the future of app-based cab booking services in the national capital, here comes a good news for the cab booking services and commuters, as the Delhi govt. has now modified the state Radio taxi scheme 2006 to bring the online car aggregators under the scheme. Thus, now all the app based cab booking services will once again be in action in the state.

The move comes weeks after the transport department banned these services following the Uber rape case.

Now all the technology companies will have to obtain licences from the transport department like the radio taxi operators do. Adding on it will be responsibility of the cab service to check the “quality of drivers and their conduct”. “It will be the responsibility of the companies to get police verification done on each driver and submit the antecedents to the transport department,” a department spokesperson said.

With this, now all the app-based cab booking services including Uber, OlaCabs, TaxiForSure would require to obtain a licence and then they can relaunch services in the state.

Here are few of the guidelines issued:

  • As per the rules, the cab booking services can begin their operations in the city with an initial fleet of 50 cars, earlier which was minimum of 500 cabs to be eligible for a radio taxi licence.
  • The licensee shall also require to maintain a web-portal containing all details of its ownership, registered address, services offered, fare structure, insurance liabilities, control room number, name and contact details of a duly appointed grievance redressal officer.
  • A panic buttons in taxis also need to be installed.
  • As said, earlier, taxis shall be fitted with GPS and GPRS based tracking device, printer, and a display panel showing the path traversed and total distance covered.
  • With this, a LCD display panel visible from both front and rear should be installed on the roof of the Radio Taxi to indicate that the vehicle is a Radio Taxi and whether it is available (green indicator) or occupied (red indicator). The dimensions of the LCD display panel shall conform to those prescribed by the State Transport Authority from time to time.
  • The colour of the Radio Taxi shall be white, with a coloured strip on both sides of the taxi prominently displaying the name of the licensee.
  • The Transport help line number No. 42400400 along with Police help line No. 1095 shall be prominently displayed inside and outside the Radio Taxi.
  • No tinted glass or curtains or films shall be affixed.
  • Passenger should be able to view the the photo of the Radio Taxi driver, Name, badge number, license number, mobile number of the driver, A photo of the Radio Taxi with registration number and the applicable fare.

But according to the taxi aggregators as the scheme has been issued under Section 74 of the Motor Vehicles Act thus it doesn’t solve the legal problem. According to them,  the government should instead allow companies such as Uber, Ola and TaxiForSure to be covered under the Information Technology Act as an intermediary.

“We are not a radio taxi company, therefore the Transport Department’s amendments to the radio taxi scheme do not help us serve our riders and drivers in Delhi,” a Uber spokesman told ET.

Uber launched its operations in India in October last year and is currently present in 11 Indian cities that include Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Jaipur, Kochi, New Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

Last week, Uber on its blog had promised to be back stronger and better to ensure a safe, reliable and convenient transportation option. It also announced few things which it plans to take care once back in action which includes re-verifying all Uber Delhi driver-partners have an authentic and valid police verification, Document Verification, Background Checks, Incident Response Team and In-App Safety Features.

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