Ola Cabs have been sending out messages to its customers offering discounts even as the government gets ready to launch a crackdown and impound their vehicles.
The Delhi government, as per an HC order, has already written to the traffic police asking them to launch an extensive drive against taxis booked with Ola Cabs.
Taxi aggregator Uber, which had moved a separate petition in court, is however likely to escape the crackdown till the court decides its fate. “The ban was always there but due to some confusion the enforcement could not happen. Any vehicle having an all-India permit will be stopped and even if a cab is running on CNG but is on the Ola platform, it will be impounded. We will take help of the traffic police to enforce the ban,” said a transport department official.
The traffic police had earlier cracked down and seized over 1,000 app-based cabs. The force had later stopped their drive after the HC had directed the government to hear the plea of the cab companies.
“We respect the law of the land and the guidelines of the judiciary at all times. We are committed to building mobility for citizens and in creating a favourable ecosystem for driver-entrepreneurs through sustainable livelihood opportunities, within the legal framework. We will continue to work with the authorities to fulfill our commitment to the ecosystem,” said a spokesperson from Ola.
Uber officials, on the other hand, said that a blanket ban of commercial cars plying on diesel within the city may not be an effective solution; especially when there are thousands of families whose livelihoods depended on the business supported by these vehicles.
“The advent of better engine and emission technology allows us to strike a reasonable balance between the interests of the stakeholders involved. We propose that existing commercial cars that run on fuels other than clean fuels be allowed to ply within Delhi provided they conform to the Bharat IV or higher mass emission standard. We suggest that any restriction, if so warranted after a consideration of facts and improvements in technology from 2002, be imposed with prospective effect,” said Gagan Bhatia, general manager of Uber, Delhi, said on the website.
As per the Radio Taxi Scheme, cab companies apart from running all their taxis on CNG, will also have to maintain a call center and have an initial fleet of 50 vehicles either owned or through an agreement with individual taxi permit holders, which has to be eventually increased to 200 taxis. Ola has its call centre but Uber is completely web based, which might act against them in the court verdict.