In a major decision that could affect thousands of commuting passengers and divers, Karnataka state transport department has banned the operations of ride hailing cab service, Ola due to non-compliance of its order.
On 15 February state transport department issued an order asking Ola to stop operating using bike taxis and termed them illegal. The department also seized about 400 bike taxis but despite all this Ola continued to operate this service and the non-compliance prompted the transport authorities to take stringent action.
A letter sent to Ola parent ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd on March 18 by the state transport department ordered the company to suspend all operations, including four-wheeler cabs, within the next three days.
The letter read-“As ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, which operates Ola, has violated the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules 2016, their aggregator licence — which was issued for a period up to June 2021 — remains suspended.”
Commenting on the ban Ola said, “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.”
Despite other companies continuing to operate illegally, Ola halted its bike taxi experiment weeks ago, instead seeking the state’s cooperation to develop a legal framework for a pilot, Ola said in its statement.“We are evaluating all options to find an amicable solution wherein hundreds of thousands of driver-partners in the state of Karnataka can continue to work and serve the mobility needs of our citizens,” it added.
As of now, Ola is banned for next six months in Karnataka. Ola along with its rival Uber started operating bike taxis in Karnataka in 2016 but the state transport department banned the bike service saying it was “Unsafe”. But in February Ola again started using Bike taxis claiming it was pilot to understand the demand in the market.