Karnataka kicks out Uber taxis

Karnataka kicks out Uber taxis

Maharashtra, Telangana also follow advisory on banning web-based services

Karnataka kicks out Uber taxis

Karnataka, Maharashtra and Telangana governments on Wednesday announced that they would comply with the Central advisory to ban web-based taxi services after a woman passenger was raped by an Uber cab driver in New Delhi recently.

Karnataka Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy, who is in Belagavi to attend the winter session of the Assembly, on Wednesday said: “We received a fax in the afternoon from the Centre asking us to ban Uber services if it is not registered with the State government. From Thursday we will be banning the services if it is not registered.”

No extension of time will be given to Uber services for registering with the State government, the minister added. The Home Ministry has advised the state governments and Union territories to ensure that operations of web-based taxi services are stopped and such service providers which are not licensed are prohibited to operate till they get themselves registered.

Reddy, however, said prohibiting web-based taxi services is not the solution to problems related to sexual assault against women. “Also, the decision to ban the service will not stand legal scrutiny. We will inform the Centre about it,” he told Deccan Herald.

Reddy said the State government will tighten the rules to operate taxies. The transport and home departments have made it mandatory for all taxi operators to obtain permissions by registering their services. About two dozen conditions have been laid down by the department to issue a permit, including police verification of the driver, Reddy added.

Maharashtra and Telangana have also banned Uber cab services. “We have asked authorities to immediately stop Uber and Ola’s services,” Maharashtra Transport Secretary S K Sharma said. The ban comes into effect immediately, he added. Uber finally stopped operations in Delhi two days after it was banned in the national capital. But some other banned taxi services continued to run.

Deccan Herald booked taxis from two of the banned services–Ola and TaxiForSure–on Wednesday evening without any problem. Uber, however, was not operational.