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App-based cabs like Ola-Uber illegal, says Maharashtra transport minister

Diwakar Raote’s statement comes days after the Bombay high court asked the state to implement the Khatua panel report which suggests ways to regulate app-based taxis among other things.

mumbai Updated: Feb 05, 2019 12:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
File photo of Maharashtra transport minister Diwakar Raote
File photo of Maharashtra transport minister Diwakar Raote(HT Photo )
         

Maharashtra transport minister Diwakar Raote on Monday said the service of app-based taxi aggregators such as Ola and Uber is illegal and that the cabs are a threat to the demand for other types of taxis.

“Ola-Uber is again a very serious issue. Some people here, however, want to travel only in Ola-Uber and not in black and yellow or cool cabs. But I am of the opinion that Ola-Uber is illegal taxi service,” said Roate, at the inaugural function for 30th Road Safety Week, being celebrated between February 4 and 10.

Highlighting that the state has given cab aggregators permission for just tourist operation, Raote said the cabs are being run as app-based cabs. “The app-based cabs lack in luggage space and other necessities. But people are still travelling in these cabs. Their drivers have also been threatening strikes. They are also a risk to other local cabs,” Raote said. He added that although he has introduced the Maharashtra City Taxi Scheme 2017 to regulate app-based cabs, the decision is stuck in court. He also said app-based cabs can only ply in the city if they run on CNG, in compliance with the Supreme Court’s orders.

Presently, Mumbai has around 50,000 tourist taxis, which mainly operate as app-based cabs. Despite attempts, no response was received from Ola and Uber.

Raote’s statement comes days after the high court asked the state to implement the Khatua panel report which suggests ways to regulate app-based taxis among other things.

Highlighting that 12,935, 12,511 and 13,059 people lost their lives in road accidents in Maharashtra in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively, Raote also appealed to people to strictly follow traffic rules.

A week ago, the transport minister had suggested that women commuters should take a photograph of the auto driver before starting their auto journey. He had said women commuters could send the photos to their families. This would be helpful in case they were harassed or manhandled, he had said.

First Published: Feb 05, 2019 12:08 IST