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Ola Obtains License In Karnataka, Uber Awaits Court Decision

Ola Obtains License In Karnataka, Uber Awaits Court Decision

Ola has obtained a licence under the Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules 2016 as per recent reports. The Bangalore-based aggregator obtained its licence by registering and furnishing the details for 100 cabs.

Transport commissioner Rame Gowda confirmed the development to ET. Ola will have to follow the rules for the rest of its fleet as well. He said, “They have to install GPS, digital meter in the rest of their cars, only then will they get a licence.”

Ola spokesperson was unavailable for a comment.

After a long standing showdown between the aggregators and the transport authorities, as per a notification by the Karnataka Transport Department, in May, Ola and Uber, were asked to shut down their services in Karnataka.

As per the circular, the aggregators who were operating unlicensed cabs in the city had to shut operations with immediate effect as it was considered to be in violation of the section 193 of the motor vehicles act.

The department had found that the aggregator rules, which came into force on April 2, had been flouted by several aggregators, including Ola and Uber and thus decided to impound cabs and and impose hefty fines on cab drivers, to stop the malpractice..

A total of six aggregators have applied for a licence in Karnataka so far. Apart from Ola, the others that have applied are Uber, TaxiForSure, Ridz, Welink and Shreyas.

Cab aggregator Uber had alleged that the officials of Karnataka Transport department did accept its documents, to support its claim for a licence to operate as app-based taxi aggregator in the state.

Talking about the issue of licence in Karnataka, Bhavik Rathod, General Manager – South & West, Uber India said, “It is our understanding that since only 100 vehicles have been inspected with requisite hardware fitting and documents, only these vehicles are now licensed to ply under the new regulations. We are still awaiting clarity on the cosmetic requirement of 100 vehicles as it doesn’t solve for the issues related to safety and transparency for which these regulations were introduced.  We have submitted a list of over 140 vehicles with all requisite documents and hardware fitted. Inspection of all these vehicles was concluded on 29th May by the Koramangala RTO. The transport department can best explain the delay in the issuance of licence to us. It is disappointing that the innovation capital of the country has drafted rules that are out of step with the progressive regulations that are needed to nurture a nascent sector. ”

Uber had also filed a petition challenging the Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Rules, 2016. The hearing is due for tomorrow. However, The Karnataka High Court, on Monday, had extended its interim order on withholding Uber’s surge pricing till Thursday.

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