According to Mumbai transport authorities four cab aggregators, including Ola and Uber, are in violation of certain provisions of the Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines, 2020
The authority has roped in the state government for ‘guidance’ after the former undertook checks to see if the ride-hailing apps complied with the norms
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court directed all app-based aggregators to apply for a licence by March 6 to operate in Maharashtra
Mumbai transport authorities have reportedly raised red flags against four cab aggregators, including Ola and Uber, for flouting certain provisions of the union government’s Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines, 2020.
“The companies are not complying with the guidelines pertaining to payment of security deposit, installation of simulators for driver training, driver medical check-up, and certificates of drivers, among others,” a transport official told PTI.
Subsequently, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA) has roped in the state government for ‘guidance’ after the former undertook checks to see if the ride-hailing apps complied with the norms.
The decision to take the state government into the loop came during an MMRTA meeting chaired by the Maharashtra transport secretary, who also heads the agency. During the meeting, the senior official directed the MMRTA to seek the state cabinet’s counsel on the matter.
Per the report, the MMRTA has now issued a diktat that all such licence applications be now routed through the state government for guidance.
It is pertinent to note that the Supreme Court, earlier this year, directed all app-based aggregators to apply for a licence by March 6 to operate in Maharashtra. Nearing the expiration of the deadline, the MMRTA granted provisional licences to ride-hailing apps, provided they comply with the centre’s mandates.
As the applicants started trickling in, local officials conducted checks across the region to verify if the players were adhering to the norms. As per the report, all four applicants were found non-compliant with Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines, 2020.
While, Uber India and ANI Technologies, the parent company of Ola, applied for cab aggregator licence at Tardeo RTO, two other players, namely Cab-age Infra Tech and Media Miles, submitted their applications at Wadala RTO and Thane RTO, respectively.
This comes a couple of months after the Maharashtra government constituted a six-member panel, under the chairmanship of retired additional chief secretary Sudhir Kumar Shrivastava, to frame the Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Aggregator Rules to regulate ride-hailing apps in the state.
While the report of the panel is expected latest by next month, the draft norms could burden the cab aggregators with a slew of norms and obligations to ply on Maharashtra roads.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time that the state government has sparred publicly with such platforms. In January, the Maharashtra government banned bike taxis in the state and directed the platforms to apply for a licence to operate in the state.
Following suit, the Delhi government also banned bike taxis later in February, citing customer safety and non-compliance by aggregators. With norms in the offing and state authorities tightening their noose, it remains to be seen what course of action these players will take next. For now, the ball appears to be in the court of the local government.