Bengaluru, Mar 22, 2019 : In a major development, the Karnataka transport department has suspended the licence of taxi aggregator Ola and ordered immediate stoppage of its services in Bengaluru. The action follows illegal operation of bike taxis by the company, The Hindu reported.
The order issued by the department on March 18 states that the licence issued to Ani Technologies Private Limited, Ola cabs Bangalore, under the provisions of The Karnataka on Demand Transport Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016, has been suspended for a period of six months.
Ola was also directed to surrender the licence to the authority concerned within three days of receiving the order copy.
Transport Commissioner V.P. Ikkeri told The Hindu that the order was issued after Ola was found flouting the rules.
Close to 260 two-wheelers impounded
“The Department had issued license to Ola only to operate mobile app based taxis [motor cabs] in the city. But they were found illegally operating bike taxis. It is a clear violation of the aggregators’ rules. Our officials had impounded the two-wheelers attached to Ola, carried out investigation and charge sheets were also filed in the court. The response given by Ola to the notices served by the department was not satisfactory. So action has been taken as per the rules.”
The official said the enforcement wing of the transport department impounded close to 260 two-wheelers attached with Ola in the city in the last one month.
The department had directed the RTOs to enforce the rules if Ola continued to operate taxis in the city by defying the order.
It is said Ola had received licence from the department to operate taxis in the city from June 2016 to June 19, 2021.
Though the order was issued on Monday, the Ola taxi services were operational even on Friday.
“We have been closely working with the authorities on this topic, responding to queries and making proactive representations to the Ministry. Despite other companies continuing to operate illegally, we halted our bike taxi experiment weeks ago. Instead we sought the state’s cooperation to develop a legal framework for a pilot that will continue to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the mobility economy.
“This notification is unfortunate, and we look forward to an opportunity to address these concerns directly with state officials to find a solution for our driver-partners and millions of Ola users in Karnataka.”