Tainted taxis still plying in Delhi, shows mobile app

  • Atul Mathur, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 09, 2014 01:26 IST

The government may have banned Uber from providing any transportation service in the Capital but the company’s smartphone app was functional and cabs available for hire over eight hours after the notification.

HT booked and took a ride in an UberX cab, about an hour after the transport department announced the ban around 1pm on Monday.

The cab driver said he was not aware of government orders and had not received any information from the taxi-booking company.

Senior transport department officials too admitted they didn’t know how to blacklist the company or implement the ban on the firm that has at least 5,000 cabs on its platform in the city.

“We will talk to the IT department to know provisions of the IT Act under which we can prevent the Uber app from being downloaded or used to book cabs,” said a transport department official.

The ban order came after the alleged rape of a 25-year-old financial analyst in the Capital by an Uber driver Friday night that led to questions about the lack of security checks by the online taxi-booking service.

The ban, however, didn’t touch similar app-based companies such as Ola Cabs, Taxi for Sure and TaxiPixi.

“Since the crime has happened with Uber, we have banned it. We will eventually ban other such companies as well. We have already started working on it,” the official said.

Unlike radio-taxi operators that have to fulfill certain conditions to get the permit to operate in Delhi, Uber or any other mobile-app based cab-hailing service have no such regulations. These companies claim they merely provide a platform for riders and drivers to meet.

“These companies have aggregated taxis that are diesel or petrol run and have been given the permit to run between Delhi and other states. In Delhi, only CNG taxis can run from point to point. It is a major violation,” the official said.

Senior transport department officials also said Uber had flouted transport rules and “misled” the passenger with its app.

“Uber misled the commuter about the nature of taxi service offered by the Uber App,” a statement by the department said. The registration and permit of the car and the licence of the accused have also been cancelled.

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