Olacabs will run their business as usual from today. (Mint)
Olacabs will run their business as usual from today. (Mint)

Ola cabs back on Bengaluru roads as Karnataka govt lifts ban

  • Ola services were suspended by Karnataka transport dept two days back for running bike taxis without permission
  • Ola's licence was cancelled on grounds that it was only for app-based taxi service, and not for bike taxi services

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government on Sunday announced that it had revoked the suspension handed to Ola, two days after it issued a notice banning the cab-hailing service from operating in the state for six months.

“@Olacabs will run their business as usual from today. However there is an urgent need for policies to catch-up with new technologies & also industries too should work closer with Govt to help evolve policies for innovations," Priyank Kharge, the state minister for social justice wrote on Twitter.

The company reached out to Kharge on Friday after its licence was suspended for six months, a decision which apparently was taken by the Karnataka transport department without consulting Karnataka's IT ministry or the government.

Ola was banned after the transport department said that the company violated existing provisions and operated two-wheeler taxis in Bengaluru.

“Issues are currently being resolved and is on the right road now," said one person in know of the development today, requesting anonymity.

Ola, run by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, considers Bengaluru as one of its biggest markets. Bengaluru, which prides itself as one of the biggest startup ecosystems of the world, has been unable to update its policies—often resulting in clashes between archaic regulations and solutions offered through technology.

The state transport department had cracked down on shuttle services, bike taxis and even car-pooling solutions due to the lack of updated regulations that could help decongest the city’s traffic.

The transport department, that has held several rounds of consultation and received proposals for bike taxis, is yet to act on the matter. It is not making its stand clear, making it difficult for bike taxi startups to operate without facing the wrath of the authorities.

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