It seems hardships for cab hailing apps are not going to end soon. According to recent notification by the Karnataka Transport Department, Ola and Uber, might have to shut down their services in Karnataka which apparently is the largest market for the two.
As per the circular, the aggregators who are operating un-licensed cabs in the city will have to shut operations with immediate effect as this is violation of the section 193 of the motor vehicles act.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the state transport department stated that the government has implemented the Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregator Rules 2016, according to which, it requires businesses to hold “effective licence issued to him under these rules”.
“Web-based aggregators had to obtain licences to operate cabs and taxis. But many aggregator companies have not obtained licences, but are operating such cabs. This is a gross violation under sec-93 r/w 193 of the Motor Vehicles Act. Hence, companies which have not obtained licences from the concerned authority should stop operations with immediate effect otherwise strict action will be taken against such operators,” the statement stated.
The Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregator Rules 2016, which was notified in April, mentions, “No person shall act or permit any other person to act as an aggregator unless he holds an effective licence issued to him under these rules”.
This means that the aggregators were required to obtain licenses and permits for the taxis that ply in the city under their banner. But the failure of cab companies in obtaining these permits has caused the issues of the drivers.
According to a Bangalore Mirror report, the Karnataka’s Transport Department has seized over 60 cabs near Kempegowda International Airport and near roads for not having license. The report also stated that the department has already sent two notices to the companies to stop operations, as they do not have licenses under the new rule and thus are illegal.
A TOI report mentioned that over 200 cabs were seized near HSR Layout and surrounding areas.
Uber spokesperson stated, “We have applied for a licence under the Karnataka On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregator Rules, 2016 and the required inspection by the Transport Department was initiated yesterday. We are sharing all necessary paperwork required by the Transport Department and are awaiting our license. Meanwhile, we are in talks with the RTO regarding the ongoing enforcement drive and are hopeful of a quick resolution.”
A report by Hindu, citing the RTO stated that the enforcement action would continue this week as no licenses had been issued under the new rules yet.
Recently, Uber and Ola also got into partnership with Kempegowda International Airport, which provided the companies a dedicated parking area and pick-up zone called ‘U Zone’ located within the airport premises. As per Department officials, no such agreement was signed and the two companies had just been allotted parking space at the airport. BIAL refused to comment on this.
The Karnataka Government has also put a full stop on surge pricing by Uber and Ola recently.