With Uber facing the heat; Meru, Ola too declared unauthorised

Only two operators — Mega cabs and RBTS — are registered with the State Transport Authority.

Written by Ifrah Mufti | Chandigarh | Updated: December 9, 2014 7:39 pm
taxi-l Only two operators are recognised in Chandigarh. (Source: Express photo)

Four taxi operators were declared unauthorised in Chandigarh on Monday after Uber cabs came under the scanner for one of its drivers allegedly raping a woman in Delhi.

Apart from Uber, Meru, Ola, Fab Cabs and Taxi for Sure do not conform to regulations of the radio taxi scheme launched by the Chandigarh Administration in 2006, officials said on Monday.

Only two operators — Mega cabs and RBTS — are registered with the State Transport Authority (STA), which is the regulatory body in the UT, they said.

Officials say they cannot enforce rules, including those regarding safety of cab users, because the STA has just two motor vehicle inspectors who , they say, are overworked.

The only time they acted was when they served a show-cause notice to Ola in July, asking it to stop operations. The company later obtained a stay order from the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

“Since they have got a stay, we cannot even issue a challan”, said STA secretary Satish Jain. The case will come up for hearing on December 12.

Ola, meanwhile, has expanded from 70 to 130 cabs. “In the past two months, Chandigarh has witnessed new entrants like Meru, Uber, Taxi for Sure and none is registered with us. We challan their vehicles, but they continue to operate,” said Jain.

Under the Chandigarh Administration’s scheme, financially sound companies or societies can run radio cabs. They have to get themselves registered and deposit a security of Rs 1 lakh. The rules also call for several measures to identify the service provider. Drivers are required to be matriculates, should have passed a driving test prescribed by the UT Administration, have no criminal records and must be in uniform at all times.

According to officials, in the event of being challaned, the maximum penalty that can be imposed is Rs 5,000. The STA can also impound the vehicle, but has not done so till date.

They added that taxi operators provided services under the garb of All India Taxi Permits. The STA has decided to not permit this pratice as the permits are not meant for plying local taxis.

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