No ban on Ola, Minister assures 

Last Updated 24 March 2019, 11:58 IST

The Transport Department's Friday order banning Ola cabs "with immediate effect", which remained ineffective, was nullified on Sunday by Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge even though the Department itself did not make any comment.

The department had banned the cab aggregator in Karnataka for six months for violating licence conditions by running bike taxis, a service not yet allowed by the government.

Kharge, who voiced his opposition to the ban earlier, did not explicitly say that the ban has been revoked. In a tweet, the minister said the cab aggregator will operate as usual and called for better policies.

"@Olacabs will run their business as usual from today. However there is an urgent need for policies to catch-up with new technologies & also industries too should work closer with Govt to help evolve policies for innovations," Kharge tweeted on Sunday morning.

Besides the online campaign against ban from some cab drivers, the issue also took political turn with Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda stating that the ban has hurt more than 40,000 drivers who earned through Ola.

However, there was no response from the Transport Department headed by JD(S)'s D C Thammanna. The department seized two cabs on Friday and stopped taking action since.

Transport Commissioner V P Ikkeri did not answer calls. However, sources in the department said the department has not yet revoked the ban. “The order is still in place. We have given them (Ola) three days to comply,” the source said.

Officials in the Regional Transport Office said Ola submitted a petition on Saturday requesting that a fine be imposed on them, instead of the ban. “A request for payment of fine in lieu of the ban was made. However, a decision will be taken only on Monday,” a senior official said.

(Published 24 March 2019, 09:35 IST)

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