Karnataka’s Transport Commissioner M K Aiyappa has reportedly declared the cab-sharing services of online cab aggregators Uber and Ola as ‘illegal.’ As per an ET report, the government will take action against the violators after conducting a meeting with the company representatives on Monday, January 30th, 2017.
Uber and Ola had introduced ride-sharing services by the names of ‘Uber Pool’ and ‘Ola Share’, respectively, in order to facilitate rides at lower rates and improve traffic conditions as well.
Commenting on the development, M K Aiyappa told ET, “The shared services violate Motor Vehicle Act and the Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016. The cabs are permitted only to pick and drop the passengers to a particular point. A meeting has been scheduled on Monday, where we will listen to the representatives of cab aggregators.”
Cab aggregators in India have had a thorny journey up until now. In July, the Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh and Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union called for an indefinite strike against app-based taxi services in Delhi. In August, the Delhi High Court issued a notice to Ola and Uber to stop surge pricing and follow government prescribed fares. In October 2016, the Maharashtra government released a draft of Maharashtra City Taxi Rules, 2016. Following this, Uber raised an objection to Maharashtra’s draft rules to regulate ride-hailing apps on three fronts, the proposed restrictions on engine capacity, price tags for permits, and pricing.
Earlier this week, cab drivers in Bengaluru started an indefinite strike as a result of the companies’ move to acquire more cars, that has led to shrinking incentives for the current drivers. To its reaction, the government backed out of the tiff, saying that it cannot intervene in the matter.