Following a ban on Uber by the Delhi government after a female passenger accused one of its drivers of rape, three other private radio taxi services have also been disbarred from operating in the Capital.
Besides Uber, Ola Cabs, Taxi for Sure and TaxiPixi have been banned for not being recognised by the Delhi transport department.
According to a transport department notification, only six radio taxi operators - Meru, Mega, Chanson, Yo, Air and Easy - are the only companies authorised to run radio taxi services in Delhi.
"All other transport service providers through web-based technology, who are not recognised, are prohibited from providing such services till they get licence from the transport department," the notification said.
Uber, Ola Cabs, TaxiForSure and TaxiPixi are mobile-application based cab booking services that operated in Delhi for the past few months. According to an estimate, close to 10,000 taxis are associated with these applications.
Delhi has close to 5,000 radio taxis run by six operators. Apart from this, a large number of economy taxis, which are operated by individual owners-drivers, too ply in Delhi and can be hailed from neighbourhood taxi stands.
A Delhi court sent the Uber taxi driver accused of raping the 25-year-old executive to police custody for three days.
The Delhi police are considering legal action against Uber for hiring the driver, who was arrested and jailed on allegations of sexual assault on a previous occasion, without running a background check.
Commuters say regulate cabs
The Delhi government's decision to ban the app-based cab booking service Uber has evoked strong reactions from the public.
"This is the only thing that can be expected from the government. Rather than regulating the cab services and making sure that implementation of law is better, they have decided to ban the service," said Kavita Kumar, a Delhi University teacher who is a regular Uber user.
Calling the government’s reaction kneejerk, a number of people questioned if banning was the solution to such crimes.
"If tomorrow someone gets raped aboard a bus, will you ban buses? This is not the way to deal with these problems. Have strict rules and make people follow those rules. Cabs are a great way for people to travel, especially at night. Banning them is just a way to say that people, especially women, should not go outside the house at night," said Manisha Yadav, a Delhi University student.
The outrage against the ban was also evident on websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
"Two months ago, an auto driver raped a mentally challenged girl in an auto. Did the government ban autos then?" said Suryanarayan Ganesh on Twitter.
A number of people also used the opportunity to make fun of the decision.
"India should ban India. There will be no rapes then," said one.