Cabbies attached to online taxi aggregators - Uber and Ola - have to brace themselves to pay hefty fine as the Transport department is all set to intensify the crackdown against them.
The department is conducting raids for the last two months against individual cabs for plying illegally without valid licences under the new rule. During the two-month-long special drive launched by the department in April, over Rs 20 lakh was collected from cab owners as fine.
As the drive fetched revenue for the exchequer, the department has decided to intensify it from June 1. Before the drive, aggregators were not too keen on obtaining licences. When the department began seizing the cabs, they were forced to fall in line.
Now, the aggregators are approaching the officials to obtain licences under the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rule, 2016.
Narendra L Holker, Joint Commissioner for Transport (Bengaluru Urban & Rural), told Deccan Herald that during the drive, over 2,000 Uber and Ola cabs were fined and no less than 20,000 cabs were checked by the RTO in the city.
Around 700 cabs were fined in April and 1,300 in May. Around 1,800 cabs were checked in March, whereas the number was 12,500 in April. The department initiated the stringent action to implement the new rule.
Cabbies approach firmsSamson, founder of Namma Chalakara Sangha, said that the cabbies were at their wits’ end.
Cab owners and drivers are planning to meet Uber and Ola representatives, asking them to come clear on the licence dilemma, Sharath Gowda, a cab driver, said.
When Deccan Herald contacted an Uber spokesperson, he refused to comment on the department’s plan.
Later in a text message, the spokesperson said: “no inputs to share from Uber as of now.” There was no response to repeated calls and a message sent to an Ola representative in Bengaluru.