Delhi: A year on, govt policy on app-based cabs remains in limbo
File on introducing the new rules has been with transport minister Kailash Gahlot for almost a month.delhi Updated: Nov 21, 2017 23:52 IST
Nearly a year after it was first mooted, the policy for cab aggregators continues to be stuck in limbo as the Delhi government remains undecided about allowing shared taxi rides in the city.
Sources said, the file on introducing the ‘Licensing and Regulation of App-based Cab Aggregators Rules, 2017’ in the capital has been with the transport minister for almost a month now.
Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot could not be reached for comments. Repeated text messages and calls made by Hindustan Times to Gahlot remained unanswered.
The vehement opposition from traditional taxi unions (drivers operating the black-yellow cabs) against the draft rules for app-based cab aggregators has put the government on the backfoot which means technically, cab-sharing remains illegal in the city.
As per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, app-based cab operators are a given contract carriage licence, which requires them to pick up passengers from Point A and drop them at Point B. Nobody else is allowed to board the cab midway. Only an individual or a group can book such cabs.
But, seeing the popularity of the service, the transport department had come up with an alternative way of making cab-sharing legal in the city.
“It was found that an internal arrangement could be made within the app, where commuters will have to grant permission on sharing the ride,” a government official said.
This means that if a person is already in a cab and has paid, say ₹100, for the ride, he will get a message through the app that another person wants to share the ride.
“If the passenger who is already in the cab clicks on ‘yes’, then the shared pick-up will be added. The extra money charged from the passenger will be refunded instantly,” the official added.
However, transport minister Kailash Gahlot has now asked the department to completely remove the clause on cab-sharing from the taxi aggregator rules.
“The government is now silent on this policy. They are not going ahead with the alternate way of allowing shared rides,” another official said.
The draft guidelines were aimed to regulate cab operators such as Ola and Uber, which currently ply without licences in the absence of any rules. It would also put a stop to surge pricing as it put forth the idea of fixing a maximum fare, charging beyond which would attract heavy fines.
First Published: Nov 21, 2017 23:52 IST