Growing clamour for action against cab aggregators in City

Transport dept under pressure to discipline firms, awaits Central norms

Traditional taxi operators in the City are pressuring the Transport department to tighten the noose around cab aggregators.

This comes in the backdrop of the second molestation incident involving an Uber taxi driver in Delhi and the Transport department there clamping down on such service providers.

In the Delhi incident, the cab driver tried to forcibly kiss the female passenger. The Transport department in the national capital has now asked all its Traffic Inspectors to download the mobile apps, book taxis and when they arrive, penalise drivers in an effort to ban the app-based cab services.

Besides, the transport department has also started taking action under Section 188 of the IPC against aggregator company executives for not obeying the government’s directions banning the aggregator cab services in the national capital following the rape of a financial consultant, allegedly by a cab driver working in partnership with Uber, in December last year.

Now, the traditional taxi operator unions in the City have demanded that the Transport department take action against the cab aggregators.

In the past, the transport department had come down heavily on aggregator cab services and had made several efforts to bring them under its ambit. However, all its efforts seem to have fizzled out as the aggregator service providers continue to have a free rein without registering themselves under the city taxi service scheme of the department. With fresh controversy erupting over the safety of the commuters, the transport department is now again under pressure to tighten its noose around the aggregators.

Radhakrishan Holla, president and General Secretary of Bangalore Tourist Taxi Owners Association (BTTOA), said, “When the Delhi government can take steps such as impounding the vehicles plying under the cab aggregators and even getting the apps blocked to ensure the safety of the commuters, the Karnataka government should also regulate the services of cab aggregators.”

However, the transport department maintains that they are awaiting Central guidelines from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in this regard. Speaking to Deccan Herald, Transport Commissioner Ramegowda said, “Recently a meeting was held under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways wherein the matter was discussed and it was decided to have Central guidelines for the cab aggregator services. A draft was prepared and all the states were asked to give their comments and suggestions. We have already sent our comments and we are awaiting final guidelines in this regard.”

“We are conducting our own drives to ensure the safety of commuters. Regular enforcement drives are being conducted, permits are being checked and action is being taken against cabs operating without valid permits,” he added.

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