US-based cab aggregator faced the heat in Delhi on Wednesday with the Delhi government rejecting its fresh application for registration under the modified Radio Taxi Scheme 2006 and the traffic police launching a crackdown on its cars.
Traffic police personnel downloaded Uber’s app to book cabs and challened the drivers when they arrived. By Wednesday evening, the police had fined 158 taxis and impounded 120 others. The department initiated action under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the company executives for not obeying the government directions.
The government’s refusal to grant licence came as a blow to the web-based cab hailing service which, according to the transport department, had been plying illegally since it was banned in January this year.Similar applications from two other prominent web-app based taxi operators, Ola Cabs and Taxi For Sure, were also rejected by the Delhi government’s transport department.
The transport department said the applications, a prerequisite for the legal operation of services by respective operators, were rejected because all three failed to declare that they were complying with the conditions of a home ministry-imposed ban on their services last year.All three operators had applied for fresh licences through front names in late January this year. However, transport minister Gopal Rai had earlier made it clear that cab companies would have to stop plying before their applications could be considered for fresh permits.
“Since these web-based applications do not have an interface through which the cab operations could be tracked, we sent out orders to all the heads of traffic circles to download the mobile applications of these services. We started booking cabs through the app and when the cabs arrived we challaned them. We will also write a letter to the transport department to cancel the permits of these vehicles,” said Muktesh Chander, special commissioner of police (traffic).
Liability for these companies will also be fixed under the Motor Vehicles Act (1988). A 21-year-old Delhi-based dancer was molested on board an Uber cab on Saturday while she was travelling to Gurgaon. Web-app based cab operators were banned after the rape of a financial executive by an Uber cab driver late last year.