If the Delhi government has its way, app-based cab services such as Ola and Uber may have to purchase at least 200 cabs to legally operate in Delhi.
Delhi transport Minister Gopal Rai told Hindustan Times that this is the minimum requirement to run the service.
“You want to ply but do not want to follow the rules. We will not let this happen and are ready to frame a policy for them. But for that they will have to follow the conditions, which are there to operate commercially in Delhi,” said Rai.
After a list of over 25,000 vehicles were submitted by the companies, the government examined them and found that most of them are registered outside Delhi and run on diesel. Rai said that they will have to convert to CNG — the fuel mandated for all public vehicles in Delhi — if they want to ply in the Capital.
But despite all the drama, the cabs are still running in Delhi as the enforcement agencies are confused over their status. “We have written to the transport department to clear the air as confusion prevails after the high court order. We have stopped challaning them as of now and if the transport department ‘in writing’ asks us to challan them, we will resume action,” said Muktesh Chander, special commissioner of police (traffic).
The Delhi traffic police had challaned over 1,000 cabs after the transport department rejected a request by the cab aggregators to grant them licence. “We do not want to comment on the matter since it is sub-judice but for the moment, Uber is operational,” said Karun Arya, communications head - South Asia and India at Uber.
Anand Subramanian, director, marketing communications at Ola said the judiciary has set things right. “It comes as a great relief for drivers and we are working closely with the authorities,” he said.
However, amid confusion over whether these companies should be treated as aggregator or a taxi service, the other radio taxi companies feel they should be banned.
The Association of Radio Taxis said the ban by the Delhi government still applies to Ola Cabs and Uber as they do not have the licence to operate in Dehi under the Modified Radio Taxi Scheme 2006 of the transport department.