The Karnataka transport department is filing cases against Porter and the drivers working for the logistics startup
Over the past week, the transport department has booked more than 100 cases against Porter drivers in Bengaluru
Porter is allegedly operating without the required goods carriage permit and is also displaying advertisements on its vehicles without proper authorisation
The Karnataka transport department is reportedly registering cases against Porter and its drivers for alleged breach of regulations by the logistics startup.
C. Mallikarjun, Karnataka’s Additional Commissioner for Transport (Enforcement-South), told Moneycontrol that Porter is operating without the required goods carriage permit from the department and also displaying advertisements on its vehicles without proper authorisation.
Mallikarjun said the transport department has begun filing cases against both Porter and the drivers working on its platform.
Over the past week, the transport department has booked more than 100 cases against Porter drivers in Bengaluru. “I’ve also instructed the Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Central (HSR Layout) to issue a notice to Porter since it falls under their jurisdiction,” Mallikarjun said.
The authorities are taking action against drivers who display the company’s advertisements on their vehicles. These drivers are being fined INR 5,000 each.
Additionally, he mentioned that Porter can apply for the required permit from the department to operate within the city. The decision to take action followed complaints from drivers, the official further stated.
Founded in 2014 by Pranav Goel, Vikas Chaudhary, and Uttam Digga, Porter claims to provide distance-based allocation, GPS tracking, proactive notifications, and more, to empower its driver partners.
In its FY22 filings, the startup said it launched operations in new cities, including Lucknow, Jaipur, Indore, Coimbatore, Chandigarh, and Nagpur, during the year, adding to Bengaluru and Delhi NCR, where it already had presence.
Porter’s fleet can be divided into two main groups: vehicles with permission and advertisements displayed, constituting approximately 20-25% of its fleet, and those without any advertisements, accounting for around 75-80%. Within the first category, a small number of vehicles are running advertisements without licences, as per the report.
Porter is reportedly in the process of securing valid licences for all vehicles falling within the first category. However, it may consider discontinuing advertising on vehicles operating in Karnataka altogether if it encounters legal challenges, as per the report.
Earlier this year, Porter restructured its leadership team, with cofounder Uttam Digga taking the role of CEO. Previously, Digga held the position of chief operating officer, a role which the startup decided to dissolve.
Porter posted a loss of INR 122 Cr in the financial year 2021-22 (FY22), owing to Covid-19 and the lockdowns. Its operating revenue jumped 2.6X to INR 847.7 Cr in FY22 from INR 322.2 Cr in FY21.