Govt revokes ban on Ola, slaps Rs 15 lakh penalty

Govt revokes ban on Ola, slaps Rs 15 lakh penalty

The State Transport Authority on Monday revoked its order banning Ola operations for six months and allowed the cab aggregator to operate after paying a penalty of Rs 15 lakh.

The authority had on Friday issued order suspending Ola for running bike taxis illegally. The government, however, had assured that they would look into the issue. 

Asked about the turnaround, chairman of the authority and Transport Commissioner V P Ikkeri said they were taking measures as per the rule. 

"This is not a turnaround. There are provisions in the Aggregator Rules (2016) to impose a penalty. Ola has now given an undertaking that they will follow the rules and agreed to pay fine of Rs 15 lakh in lieu of the ban," he said. 

Asked if there was political pressure to revoke the ban, the commissioner said there was no direction from the political authorities. "The authority has quasi-judicial powers. We are taking the decision keeping in mind public interest," he said. 

Additional Director General of Police and Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety P S Sandhu said the authority has also directed Ola to restrict drivers' duty hours. "Some drivers are working for more than 14 hours. In such cases, accidents will happen. We have told them to limit a driver's working hours," he said. 

In its response, Ola said, "We are glad that the issue stands resolved. We look forward to continuing working with the State, to help address the challenges of mobility."

Cab drivers were not happy with the revocation of the ban. They held a meeting with the commissioner and expressed their disappointment about not doing enough to restrict Ola.