While Ola and Uber were tangled in their own ‘war of worlds’; a third ground force has now attacked them. Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh and Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union have called for an indefinite strike against app-based taxi services in New Delhi. The city taxi rivals believe that despite of not having permit to run taxis in Delhi, Ola-Uber are operating fearlessly and taking away their livelihoods.
According to Joint Action Committee of 20 transport unions, the auto and taxi (yellow-black) unions of domestic and international airports have extended their support and they would also participate in the strike.
There are around 85,000 auto rickshaws and 15,000 yellow-black taxis in the capital.
“There is “no room” for talks with the Delhi government from the unions’ side. However, in case the Delhi government wants to talk to them, it can send its representative at New Delhi Railway Station where the drivers will be staging the protest today,” said Rajendra Soni, general secretary of Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh and Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union.
The battle has now reached the political corridors, as some of these taxi unions are said to be affiliated to major political parties including BJP and Congress.
As usual, Delhi government has already put its hands in the air, saying that it’s the matter of center and banning the app-based cab services does not come under its ambit. Meanwhile Kejriwal government didn’t let the moment go without embracing its achievements to it.
“We have already written to the Centre to block servers of Uber but the Union government said it cannot do so, as its main server is in the USA. During the second phase of odd-even, the Chief Minister had also threatened to take action against app-based cab services over complaints of surge pricing,” said a Delhi government spokesperson.
Last year in September, Mumbai based auto-rickshaws and taxi drivers also went for a day long strike against Ola and Uber.
It seems that year 2016 is determined to put a break to high aspirations of the existing cab aggregators in India, as well as other international players eyeing entry into Indian markets. What started as a legal battle between two rival companies, first reached the states and now it has become national. The entire issue revolves around seeking a permit. So the question arises, Is the infrastructure of our country so weak, that any innovation has no space in it? Will it be an end for Ola-Uber in India?