Relief for Ola, Uber in Bengaluru; Cab aggregators’ fate now rests in Narendra Modi govt’s hands

By: | Published: February 22, 2017 5:45 AM

Cab aggregators Ola and Uber have got a further extension for an indefinite period to operate their ride sharing services from the Karnataka government.

The Central government has issued some guidelines asking the state governments to allow ride sharing services as it helps in reducing environmental pollution. (Reuters)

Cab aggregators Ola and Uber have got a further extension for an indefinite period to operate their ride sharing services from the Karnataka government. The Karnataka transport department has decided not to penalise drivers of both the cab hailing companies until they get a clarification from the Central government on allowing such services.

“We had given 15 days time to both Ola and Uber to operate their ride sharing services after they had sought time to comply with our ban order. We have written to the Central government asking for a clarification as to under what section of the Motor Vehicles Act the shared services can be permitted. Until then, we will not take any penal action on the cab drivers,” M K Aiyappa, state commissioner of transport told FE.

He said both Ola and Uber had only contract carriage permits, which does not allow them to pick and drop passengers from different points during a particular ride. Only stage carriage permit holders are allowed to carry multiple passengers from different locations and drop them at some other points. Such permits are normally given to city bus corporations, school buses and vehicles used by companies to ferry their employees from different places to their offices and back.

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The Central government has issued some guidelines asking the state governments to allow ride sharing services as it helps in reducing environmental pollution. “The state governments follows Central Motor Vehicle Act and there is a provision for allowing cab aggregators to operate ride sharing services. So, we have asked the central government to tell us as to under which clause we can allow them to operate. We are waiting for the clarification,” Aiyappa said.

Until the clarification is obtained from the Centre, Ola and Uber can continue to offer their ride sharing services and we will not take any action on drivers of both Ola and Uber, he clarified.

Earlier this month, both Ola and Uber had launched a public campaign on social media platforms seeking support from the commuters to endorse their ride sharing service as it helps in reducing traffic congestion and environmental pollution. The state transport department officials had seized several cabs and booked drivers for violating the state rules, which does not allow ride sharing services. Subsequently, Ola Share and UberPOOL services were hit for a temporary period in Bengaluru.

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