Ola and Uber Auto-Rickshaws Operating Illegally to be Fined Rs 5,000 in Bengaluru

A few days back, the Karnataka government had issued notices to Ola, Uber and Rapido to stop their auto-rickshaw services immediately, terming it ‘illegal’. The State Transport department had received numerous complaints of exorbitant charges from people against these companies. Despite the govt order, Ola and Uber continued the auto services on their app and we reported this a while back.

Now, with no option left, the Karnataka government on Tuesday warned of imposing a fine of Rs 5,000 on those vehicles found operating illegally. State Transport Commissioner T H M Kumar also said the ride hailing platforms such as Ola and Uber cannot provide the autorickshaw services till the government takes a decision.

In case the companies violate the order, then they should know that autorickshaw is not there in the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rule (KOTTAR), 2016, the transport commissioner said briefing reporters here. He said, The department will write to the cyber division to stop the autorickshaw services because we cannot do it directly since we don’t have the expertise. We will not take action against the autorickshaws but only the Ola-Uber (taxi aggregators). We will fine the companies Rs 5,000 per vehicle.

Also Read: Karnataka Govt Could Ban Ola, Uber and Rapido Over Exorbitant Fares, Issues Notice

The transport commissioner pointed out that there is no scope for the taxi aggregators to offer autorickshaw services on their applications under KOTTAR-2016.The taxi aggregators will have to give a fresh application to resume autorickshaw services, but until the government takes a call, the department has strictly instructed them to stop booking autorickshaws on their mobile applications.

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Recently, a few drivers associated with the ride-hailing companies were penalised by the state transport department which led to a demonstration by the auto-rickshaw drivers outside a regional transport office (RTO) against the ban on their services that was imposed by ride-hailing platforms – Ola, Uber and Rapido. The Karnataka Transport Department had issued a notice asking the aggregators to immediately stop operating “illegal auto-rickshaw services.” It said the drivers were fleecing the public and were given three days’ time to furnish any details they have to continue operating their auto-rickshaws.

Ola and Uber were not immediately available for a comment.

With inputs from PTI

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