It doesn't seem like Ola's and Uber's troubles with the authorities will end soon. Several media reports suggested that the Karnataka government has deemed Ola and Uber illegal for not complying with the licensing laws of the state, and has ordered the aggregators to stop operations immediately.
While Ola and Uber are yet to comment on the issue, H G Kumar, Additional Commissioner for Transport and Secretary, State Transport Authority Karnataka, has confirmed to YourStory that both Ola and Uber have applied for the licenses.
As of April 2nd there is a mandate that all aggregators need to obtain the operator licenses. Both Ola and Uber have taken the applications but are yet to comply with all the rules. We have asked the companies to hasten the process,” says H.G. Kumar.
In order to get the necessary operator licenses, the aggregators need to provide information like driver verification details, vehicle details and registration details to the RTO. While, Kumar confirmed that Ola has submitted most of the information, Uber is yet to present the RTO with all details.
According to the compliance rules, Ola and Uber will have to install GPS on the vehicles and apps, come in for regular inspections and provide details of the number of vehicles, agreement copies and even have no surge pricing. Kumar added that if the companies do not comply with the rules, they will not get the license, thus making them illegal. A report by thetechportal suggests that the past week 200 cabs by both the aggregators were seized for not having operator licenses. This is also the case with Delhi, where the cab aggregators have to get operator licenses to ply in the city. Just a month back the government in the state had seized Ola and Uber cabs for continued surge pricing. While Uber had removed surge pricing in Delhi, they are yet to do so in Bengaluru.
However, there is no denying that Ola and Uber have made daily commute especially in Bengaluru convenient.
It is difficult to find convenient transport and I go to Electronic City every day. Uber has just made life easier. If the government stops their operations, we will suffer. They at least need to look at providing alternate modes of transport,” says 32-year-old IT Professional, Varun Sharma.
The Karnataka government has also faced flak on the delay in metro construction and operation. So far, only one metro line is open for operations. Added to that is the limited bus connectivity, making travel for office-goers and others a daily grind.
Both Ola and Uber were yet to respond to e-mails sent by YourStory till the publishing of this article. Watch this space for updates.