Bengaluru: Though the state transport department has suspended the licence of Ola Cabs (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd) for six months with immediate effect, alleging that was running two-wheeler taxis in violation of the law, it later provided a brief respite to the ride hailing company.
The drivers association has claimed that the transport department on Saturday gave Ola time till Monday to surrender the licence and allowed it to run cabs this weekend. Earlier on Friday it had said that Ola cannot facilitate cab bookings from Saturday onwards.
Ola, Taxiforsure and Uber Drivers and Owners Association President Tanveer Pasha told Deccan Chronicle, "The department has changed its tone by saying they will examine to take further action. The transport department officials now appear to be willing to do Ola a favour. There is no question of examining or reconsidering the issue, when they have already cancelled the licence of taxi services." He said Ola had failed to follow Government rules and even people have welcomed the government action.
Earlier this year the drivers association had filed a complained against bike taxis and the transport department officials had seized several bikes, which were operating under the Ola platform. The officials probed the case and submitted a report to the Transport Commissioner.
According to Section 11 (1) The Karnataka On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules 2016, the transport department can decide to cancel the licence of the cab aggregator if rules are violated.
"People are also happy that Ola has stopped because they knew that Ola charges were high. We demand that the government should stand with us and ban them for six months. We drivers have an alternative business which we are already into it and people will also follow the same in a few days. If the government does any favour to Ola, then we will hold a protest against RTO itself," Tanveer Pasha said.
However, Ola claims it had stopped bike taxis weeks ago, while other companies continue to illegally provide services. Terming the transport department order as unfortunate, it said, "We look forward to an opportunity to address these concerns directly with state officials to find a solution."
Transport Commissioner Ikkeri V.P. disputed the claim made by drivers' association. He told Deccan Chronicle, "The department is not in favour of any company or a person. We are acting under the law. Under the licence, only app-based taxi services were permitted and there was no permission for bike taxis. There is a violation of rules as bike taxis are not part of the licence issued to them (Ola), so we issued the notice to respond when we did not get any reply we decided to cancel the licence of cabs. The department has given the time till Monday to surrender the licence. So from Tuesday, Ola cabs will be illegal on roads. The department has asked many clarifications from the company and we will examine to take further action against them."