Govt panel to look into cabbies' grievances

Govt panel to look into cabbies' grievances

Picture for representation only.

A high-level committee of transport and traffic police officials will take a fresh look into the grievances of cab drivers, including their demand for revising the fare. 

The decision was taken after Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy held hour-long discussions with Transport Department officials, representatives of taxi drivers, conventional taxi operators and cab-hailing firms Uber and Ola. 

The minimum and maximum fares for cabs were revised in March with the Transport Department dividing the vehicles into five categories based on their cost. But drivers who partnered with Ola and Uber and those who operate city taxis were not happy with the revision. 

"Cars should be classified into air-conditioned and non-AC and two categories of minimum and maximum fares should be fixed. This will help reduce the confusion," said S Hameed Akbar Ali, of the Karnataka Taxi Owners, Drivers and Operators Association. 

Tanveer Pasha, who leads the union of drivers disgruntled with Ola and Uber who sought to launch an alternative cab-hailing firm, alleged the two major cab aggregators had continued to flout the rules and increased their grip on the market. 

"We want the government to ensure a level playing field in the cab sector. We also demanded facilities like ESI and accident insurance for drivers," he said.

B Basavaraju, principal secretary, transport, told DH after the meeting: "The committee will consider the views of all the parties involved before arriving at any decision."

Need uniform fare: airport taxi drivers

Airport taxi drivers who work with the KSTDC told the chief minister that they were ready to compete with Ola and Uber provided there were uniform regulations and fare for all the operators. 

"We got permission for operating about 700 taxis through the tender process. We abide by the rules made by the department. Ola and Uber operate about 4,000 cars without any of this," said B Y Basavaraju, joint secretary, Kempegowda International Airport KSTDC Taxi Owners and Drivers Association. 

The association has demanded reducing the parking fee in the airport from the present Rs 118 per trip and limiting toll collection to one side.