Govt not against any business, won’t compromise with safety: Gopal Rai

Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai has said that the cab companies are not only misleading people, but the drivers as well.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: June 5, 2015 10:09:08 pm

Delhi government on Friday said it was not against any kind of business and will follow best practices to promote the commuters’ interests but won’t compromise with safety and security of women in the city.

AUDIO RECORDING – Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai talks about ban on Ola, Uber

Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai also accused app-based taxi operators Uber and Ola cabs of “misleading” their drivers and commuters, by not submitting the details of their drivers to the government. Delhi government wants to set the record straight on the issue of app-based taxi services in the national capital, since an impression is being created as if the state government has taken some fresh decision, he said.

“It is regretted that companies like Uber and Ola are misleading poor taxi drivers and the general public of the national capital. “Delhi government makes it absolutely clear that it is not against any kind of business and will follow best practices to promote the interests of commuters, but will not compromise with women safety,” Rai told reporters here.

Earlier in the day, the minister said that Uber and Ola cabs have not submitted details pertaining to their drivers and vehicles, but they submitted details to government only by evening. “Unfortunately, the conduct of these companies so far does not inspire confidence and I have no hesitation in publicly stating that they have indulged in cheating the trust of Delhi government and the residents of the national capital,” Rai said.

The AAP government had on June 3 rejected fresh applications for licence by US-based taxi booking firm Uber and two other such service providers — Ola and TaxiForSure. Top Delhi government officials said the applications of the three taxi aggregators were rejected for not filing undertakings stating that they were complying with a ban imposed on them.

The three operators had filed the applications under the modified Radio Taxi Scheme introduced five months ago. All app-based cab service were banned in the national capital after a driver of Uber, the US-based online cab service provider, was accused of raping a woman passenger in December last.

“Government asked Uber and Ola Cabs that their pending applications for fresh licences will be considered if they agree to adhere to the existing ban on them, furnish the data of drivers and their vehicles within a week and give an undertaking that they will comply with safety regulations, particularly for women commuters,” Rai added.

“I have met drivers associations over the last two days and they have told me that they have submitted all their details with the offices of these companies located at Gurgaon. Then why are these companies are hesitant to share the data with the transport department,” he added.

The transport minister also added that in case these companies have nothing to hide, they should come clean and submit the required data and comply with stipulated safety guidelines. Uber, however, said that it has made a full and complete application for a radio taxi license in January along with all driver details that were required as per the application process.

“The request for additional data by the honourable minister was verbal and not a part of any licensing process. No specifics on the content or format of such information were provided to us. Even as of today, there remains no formal communication. “All personal information of drivers and riders are protected by the fundamental right to privacy. Given this, we are required to treat this data with utmost caution and diligence,” Gagan Bhatia, Uber GM – Delhi, said in a statement.

He also said after a detailed discussion with the Ministry, Uber today complied with the Minister’s request for data in a good faith belief that we are required by law to do so. We have provided details of all driver-partners and vehicles operating on the Uber platform in Delhi. “We humbly appeal to the government to resume constructive dialogue towards an amicable resolution of this issue; moving towards a safer Delhi which puts the interest of its citizens first,” he also said.

However, on the minister’s allegation’s that Uber is “misleading” their drivers and commuters, an official from the company refused to comment on it.

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