Officials call meeting after Ola, Uber cab drivers protest

Officials call meeting after Ola, Uber cab drivers protest

Officials call meeting after Ola, Uber cab drivers protest

After sporadic protests by drivers against cab aggregators Ola and Uber, transport authorities have called a meeting of representatives of both companies on Wednesday.

“I have called for a meeting tomorrow to think of a solution,” Transport Commissioner M K Aiyappa said.

However, sources in the department said only the companies can solve the problem. “The state government’s new On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016, are aimed at regulating surge pricing. The law has fixed Rs 19.50/km and Rs 14.50/km maximum fare for AC and non-AC taxis, respectively. The unions want them as minimum fares. Such a change is unlikely,” they said.

H E Somashekhar, president of Ola, Taxi For Sure, Uber (OTU) Chalakara Sene, alleged that both companies have drastically reduced the incentives while raising the target earnings and trips.

“We were promised that we can make Rs 1 lakh a month and we were given realistic targets. But things changed so much that even after working for 12 to 14 hours a day, we cannot meet targets,” he said.

Both the companies have different models of incentives which have been tweaked several times. A driver will not get any incentive if he doesn’t make the target income, Somashekhar said. “In the beginning the target was either Rs 900 or 8 to 10 trips within a set deadline. Today, we can rarely meet the target. If I earn Re 1 less than the target within the stipulated time, I won’t get the incentive,” he added.

“Thousands of us bought vehicles on loan after seeing attractive advertisements by companies. A driver who used to get Rs 2,000 incentive a day now gets nothing,” said Tanveer, who represents another group of unions, OTU Drivers and Owners Association.

“The sector doesn’t have a designated regulator. The two groups that staged agitations represent many splintered unions. This shows how unorganised the sector is,” said Prakash K of the CITU. There were no protests on Tuesday.
DH News Service