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Ban? What ban? Appy times roll on for Delhi cabs

Most banned Apps still running as transport dept yet to chalk out plan to enforce rules.

Updated: December 10, 2014 10:43:04 am
phone-l The Transport dept is considering blocking their websites.

A day after the Delhi Transport Department banned all but six radio taxi services, it was found that most “banned” companies — including Uber, Ola and Taxi For Sure — were going about their business as usual till late Tuesday.

Most of these companies still have their Apps running and their call centres in operation.

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A driver who worked for Uber said he attended to three passengers on Tuesday. “We were given iPhones by Uber and they are still functioning. I got calls for an airport drop and two other runs on. However, many drivers are now wary of Uber,” he said.

Another cab driver, who worked with at least three different taxi companies, also said the same. “We got a call from the parent company that they were still operating, but by late Tuesday, we were asked to stop using the company name. There are still many jobs for taxi drivers in Delhi. The demand is too huge,” he said.

To put the brakes on these companies, the Transport department is now considering blocking their websites with the help of the Information Technology Department, a senior official said.

But the department is yet to chalk out a strategy to enforce the ban. “We will make GPS mandatory in all cabs. We will need to link their servers to the government’s control room,” Kuldeep Singh Ganger, Special Commissioner (Transport), said.

While Transport officials said its enforcement department and the traffic police will work in tandem to enforce the ban, a lack of a strategy continues to give these cabs a free run. Ola Cabs, for example, was found accepting bookings on its App on Tuesday. “We got a message from the company in the morning to take down the stickers from our vehicles. Until we get the necessary permissions, we will operate without stickers,” a driver said.

A senior official said, “If these taxi services continue to ply, they will be treated as vehicles operating without permit and accordingly fined. The penalty for the first offence is between Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000.”

While the Association of Radio Taxis claimed that they had informed the Transport department about the “illegal and unlawful activities being carried out by some unscrupulous unlicensed operators” in April, Ganger said the issue was brought to the department’s notice in a meeting held recently.

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