The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday accused the Centre of not reining in app-based taxi services such as Ola and Uber with party leader Ashutosh taking to Twitter to take on the cab aggregators.
“AAP govt banned OLA/uber but HIGH COURT asked not to take coercive action against them. They are running illegally in Delhi,” he tweeted.
The app-based operators recently faced flak over surge pricing during the second phase of odd even from April 15-30.
Saturday night’s incident of an Ola cab driver allegedly molesting a 24-year-old Belgian woman in CR Park also brought the taxi operator and their drivers under scanner.
“Why OLA/Uber not providing informations abt driver/car? Why don’t they comply the license conditions? Why Modi govt can’t ban their server? AAP govt banned Ola/Uber but Modi govt says it can’t ban Ola/Uber. Why Modi/BJP want to protect OLA/Uber,” Ashutosh asked on Twitter.
In March last year, the AAP government had asked the Centre to block the IP addresses of Ola and Uber so that their mobile app becomes dysfunctional. The government also rejected their licence applications.
“Despite the ban, they continue to run. Through the chief secretary of Delhi, we had written to information and technology ministry as only it can block the IP address, which will automatically ban the app. We are taking action through traffic police but to ban them completely, we want to ban the app first,” said a transport department official.
But according to the law, states have the power to notify policies for taxi operators. Central guidelines can only help them in framing policies.
The Delhi government is in the process of framing a policy for taxi aggregators to restrict surge pricing and ensure security. It is taking suggestion from company’s representatives and will come out with the policy later this month.
“A discussion on the policy for taxi aggregator is on and it should be ready in three weeks. The central government has prepared a guideline but we are not bound to agree to it. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal wants a policy where the public doesn’t feel harassed. We will fix a maximum fare limit and the aggregators cannot charge more than that in any circumstances,” said a transport department official.
The union ministry of road transport had issued guidelines for ride hailing services, identifying them as on-demand information technology-based transportation aggregators and not taxi companies.
According to them, the aggregators must not own or lease any vehicle, employ any drivers or represent themselves as a taxi service, unless also registered as a taxi operator.
Several states tried to ban ride-hailing services or have them register as taxi operators but companies continue to claim that they are just aggregators.