The state government may not renew the licences of transport aggregators like Ola, Uber and Meru if they do not comply with the norms prescribed for them by the state’s transport department in December last year. The move comes in the backdrop of two Ola drivers abducting, raping and murdering a 12-year-old girl in a moving Ola cab in Kolkata on August 31.
“The transport department fixed a set of norms for these aggregators in December, but even nine months down the line they are not abiding by most of them. So we have decided not to issue fresh permits to new vehicles of these companies till they fall in line. The licences of most of these aggregators are expiring this month, and we are seriously thinking whether to renew them,” a senior transport official told HT.
One of the mandatory norms for these companies is to check the backgrounds of all their drivers. Another one is having a CCTV camera in every car. Other ones include installing a feature in their mobile apps to ensure that passengers on board can share their location with at least five persons. The companies must also put up their logos on the cars.
“The recent incident of kidnap-rape-murder revealed that one of the two culprits had earlier been arrested in connection with a robbery case in 2013 and was out on bail. It means that the company had not checked his antecedents properly,” the transport department official said.
The August 31 incident rattled Kolkata as the victim was sleeping on a pavement in Brabourne Road, one of the busiest areas in the heart of the city, and her body was dumped in a canal off the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, several kilometers away from the place of kidnapping. The criminals, their victim and the car passed through the heart of the city without getting detected by any policeman on duty on the roads of the city that night.