Karnataka govt directs seizure of Ola, Uber autos still plying, despite orders to stop

The companies, however, have been given three days time to share details if any with the transport department on the autorickshaw services being offered by them.

Livemint
Updated8 Oct 2022
Karnataka Transport Minister B Sriramulu on Saturday said he has directed officials to impound such vehicles
Karnataka Transport Minister B Sriramulu on Saturday said he has directed officials to impound such vehicles

Karnataka Transport Minister B Sriramulu on Saturday said that he has directed officials to impound cab aggregators still operating autorickshaw.

His orders comes after complaints regarding app-based cab aggregators still operating autorickshaw despite the Transport department's directions to stop it with immediate effect.

He said notices have been issued to aggregators such as Ola and Uber for "violations” and that he would decide the next course of action in a couple of days. 

"Ola and Uber are meant to help commuters without causing them any trouble, but we are getting complaints every year... also there are certain technical issues involved, so notice has been issued to them," Sriramulu told news agency PTI in response to a question. 

Noting that certain conditions were laid down, such as rate fixation among others, while granting licenses, he said, "notices have been issued because there are violations, and on getting a clarification from them, I will take a decision within one or two days." 

When told that vehicles were operating despite notice and directions to stop, the Minister said, "I have sent officials, I have ordered them to seize Ola and Uber vehicles operating despite directions." 

The Karnataka government has directed the app-based cab aggregators to stop their "illegal" autorickshaw hailing services in the city with immediate effect, citing violation of norms. 

The action comes after many passengers complained of overcharging by the autorickshaws operating under apps like Ola and Uber. 

The notice comes after commuters registered complaints with the transport department stating that Ola, Uber charges 100 even for a distance below 2 kilometres. Currently, the minimum auto fare for the first 2 km is fixed at 30, after which every kilometre is charged 15.

The companies, however, have been given three days time to share details if any with the transport department on the autorickshaw services being offered by them. 

The Karnataka State Road Transport Authority issued a notice to the companies on Thursday, in which it stated that the cab aggregators have been allowed to run the internet-based application taxi aggregator services under the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rule-2016. 

As per the rules, only taxi services can be provided and taxi means a motor-cab having a seating capacity not exceeding six passengers excluding the driver with public service permit on contract, it said. Officials also said that licenses issued to cab aggregators, Ola and Uber expired last year, and that they can’t act against the aggregators because of a case pending before the Karnataka High Court. 

Earlier, on 6 October, Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya highlighted the issue and asked CM and Minister for Transport to take necessary action. In a tweet, he wrote, “Auto rickshaw are backbone of first & last-mile connectivity in Bengaluru. We received many complaints recently regarding tech aggregators charging 100 as minimum charge against the fixed limit of 30. Requested CM Sri @BSBommai & Sri @sriramulubjp to take necessary action.

(With inputs from PTI)

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