The Rickshaw Drivers Union demanded that the Karnataka government also create an app like the Kerala Government Kerala Savari app, which is the country’s first online taxi service owned by a state government.
The Karnataka Department of Transport on Tuesday, October 11, ordered that no taxi aggregator shall offer auto rickshaw services from Wednesday, October 12. The decision was made after transport commissioner THM Kumar held a meeting with aggregators including Ola, Uber and Rapido. . The commissioner said a fine of Rs 5,000 will be imposed for vehicles driving without a three-wheeler license.
The Karnataka Transport Department on Thursday (October 6th) sent a notice to Uber, ANI Technologies – which operates Ola – and Rapido ordering them to halt car services in Karnataka. The move came after several commuters complained about the high prices charged by aggregators. App-based taxi aggregators charged a minimum of Rs 100 for car rides. However, the government mandated minimum car fare is Rs 30 for the first two kilometers and Rs 15 for each subsequent kilometer.
Speaking to the media, the commissioner had said that aggregators are not allowed to drive auto rickshaws without obtaining a three-wheeler licence. He also said that if a license application was submitted by the aggregators, it would be forwarded to the government for action. “The government will make a decision on access and convenience fees,” he said, according to a TOI report.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had also discussed the issue with Commissioner Kumar on Monday and said no company should operate without a license and strict action would be taken against them.
On Tuesday, a committee of 13 auto rickshaw unions proposed a seven-day deadline to ban all aggregation apps. They demanded that the Karnataka government also create an app like the Kerala Government Kerala Savari app, which is the country’s first online taxi service owned by a state government.
Read: “Kerala Savari”, Kerala government taxi service: three things to know