After a fracas with the Kejriwal government in Delhi, Ola and Uber have landed into trouble with the Karnataka government over a slew of issues, with surge pricing being one of the trouble points as it was in Delhi.
The Karnataka government has come down heavily on taxi aggregators like Uber and Ola by asking them to get a licence from the government if they want to ply in the state. Procuring a licence would put roadblocks in the ease with which Ola and Uber currently operate with their own fixed fares, surge pricing – increasing fares during peak time, and not registering with transport authorities to ply in the state.
Will Ola and Uber toe the line of regulations as directed by the Karnataka government on April 2, or will it choose to go off the roads from today? App based taxi aggregators in Karnataka have been obtaining a licence following the Radio Taxi Scheme 1988 bypassing the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules 2016.
Ola filed an application only on Saturday evening while Uber has so far not followed government rules, according to Karnataka’s Transport Commissioner Ramegowda.
According to a statement issued by the Transport Commissioner's office on Saturday, "Companies which have not obtained licences from the concerned authority should stop operations with immediate effect otherwise strict action will be taken against such operators."
The Commissioner said some of the taxi aggregators were yet to comply with government rules such as approaching the police to verify drivers background, while one aggregator has now initiated procedures to complete a bulk of the government’s requirements.
The state transport had filed 300 cases against Ola and Uber and confiscated around 1,000 taxis in the past two months. Ola and Uber drivers had taken to the streets to protest at what they termed as harassment by transport authorities.
Uber and Ola continued to ply on Sunday in the state without paying heed to the government directive. The government, it is believed, did not take any action as Sunday was the finals of the IPL in Bangalore.
This is not the first time that the Karnataka government has hauled taxi aggregators. In March, both Ola and Uber had to suspend their bike taxi services, which the government said bikes could not be used as taxi services.
What will be the next move of Ola and Uber in Bangalore, India's own Silicon Valley?
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Updated Date: May 30, 2016 11:15:29 IST