The Pune Regional Transport Officer (RTO) has written to the Pune police, asking it to take action against the taxi aggregator Ola for its advertisement. Ola has been advertising about its special scheme of auto fare, which saw auto-rickshaws on the platform charging Rs 29 for four kilometres.
The Aam Aadmi Rickshaw Chalak Sanghatana had lodged an official complaint about the advertisement which, they said, was in contravention of the Motors Vehicles Act of 1988.
In their complaint, the Sanghatana has drawn attention to the provision of the Act which gives the District Transport Authority (DTA) the power to fix both maximum and minimum fare for stage carriers — the category under which auto-rickshaws are classified.
DTA is a body headed by the district collector which fixes the fares of auto-rickshaws in the district as per a set formula.
At present, the first one-and-a-half-kilometre fare for Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad is Rs 18 and it increases with every km rise in the distance.
In its letter to the police, the RTO pointed out how in the past it had issued notices to the company for such advertisements.
“The RTO had earlier taken action against the company for such advertisements in the past, but action needs to be initiated against the company for carrying out such advertisement,” the letter said.
Shrikant Acharya, advisor to the Sanghatna, said they had been pursuing this case for the last many weeks. “These advertisements are completely illegal and action should be taken against the company,” he said.
Acharya said that their previous efforts to get the police to register complaints were not successful as the police wanted the RTO to authorise them.
“We hope now action will be initiated against the company,” he said.
The scheme of Rs 29 for four kilometres, Acharya said, has adversely affected the business of the auto-rickhsaws who were complaining of heavy losses. The spokesperson of Ola was not available for comment.