Bengaluru: “The Karnataka High Court has issued an injunction restraining unions, their leaders, members and followers from preventing Uber driver partners from driving. We now request the police to effectively enforce the court order and take action against people carrying out illegal acts. In the event of incidents of intimidation or disruption, we urge riders and drivers to dial 100,” a press statement issued here by Uber said.
The driver unions, however, continued their six-day strike, seeking permission from the police to stage a protest. “Nobody is helping us. Ola and Uber have not responded to our demands and the Transport Department says it is not their responsibility. We are waiting for justice, from the government or political leaders,” said Mr Kiran Gowda, state president, Karunada Rajya Taxi Owners’ and Drivers’ Association.
Though the Transport Department has refrained from interfering in the issue, it has formed an internal committee to place a cap on minimum fares. Transport Commissioner M.K. Aiyappa said, “Cab driver complained about companies charging less than Rs 6 per km, which is not viable. We already placed a maximum fare of Rs 19.50 per km. This committee, consisting of RTO officials, will research and come out with a minimum fare in two days.”
The committee will analyse factors of mileage, expenses, insurance, daily wage, premium etc, just like how the autorickshaw fares are decided. This is solely a suggestion made by the department which will be forwarded to the government for final approval, he said.
Asked how they agreed to step in only now, he said, “We cannot interfere with the drivers and cab company issues as it is a contract between them. What law can we enforce on their incentives and commissions?”
On Uber’s response to drivers’ demands, a company spokesperson said, “We have sent mass messages to drivers’ mobiles, saying issues can be sorted out on a one-on-one basis, instead of protesting.” But Mr Kiran Gowda maintained that none of the drivers received a message from Uber....