‘Avoid Bagalur route to Bengaluru airport after night’

City police commissioner Bhaskar Rao.

City police commissioner Bhaskar Rao has asked cab aggregators not to take alternative routes (without toll) to Kempegowda International Airport via Bagalur after dark.

He gave the directions after incidents reported before and after the murder of a 32-year-old Kolkata woman by a cab driver on July 31 in an attempt to rob her while on her way to the airport.

Rao said women’s safety is more important than the drivers going the extra mile. He strictly instructed the drivers to avoid the circuitous route between 7 pm and 7 am.

“Despite the directions in the meeting with them, it seems like they haven’t instructed their drivers,” Rao said. “Right now, the route is not safe. We’ve to make that route safe after dark, but until then, they can’t use it.”

Rao attributed Monday’s incident, in which a driver disregarded a woman who boarded the cab from the airport and asked not to take the toll-free alternative route, to issues with the language.

The driver was unable to communicate with her, he said.

He said the city’s image is at stake if things go wrong. “Safety costs money and no one wants to invest in safety,” Rao added.

“These cab aggregators can map their routes barring the (alternative) route during
the night and they have to do it.”

Spelling out OLA’s safety measures, a company spokesperson said: “As per the advisory issued by the authorities, we have issued strict instructions to all our driver-partners to access the city only through the toll-road; any deviations will lead to immediate termination from the platform.”

Uber refused to comment on the issue.

In Monday’s incident, the cabbie left the passenger stranded after a dispute over the choice of the route.

Drivers, however, continue to use the alternative route to make extra money by skipping the toll on the highway.

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