Bengaluru, Mar 23: The transport department of Karnataka government has suspended the licence of Ola Cabs (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd) for six months with effect from last night, alleging that the ride-hailing company had been running two- wheeler taxis in violation of the law.
This means the Bengaluru-based aggregator will not be able to operate any of its services — cars, autos and bikes — across Karnataka for the next six months. The move could affect thousands of cab users and drivers across the state.
“There is a violation of rules as bike taxis are not part of the licence issued to them (Ola)," said an official at the state transport department, requesting not to be named.
In Karnataka, Ola operates in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hubballi, Ballari, Belagavi and Kalaburagi. In 2016, Ola obtained the aggregator licence valid till June 19, 2021.
Calling the government notification “unfortunate”, Ola, in a statement, said: “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 project. We look forward to addressing these concerns.”
The government’s move came after Ola operated bike taxis in Bengaluru without taking permission and several taxi drivers’ associations petitioned the transport department to take action against the firm.
On March 18, the State Transport Authority (STA) issued a notice to ANI Technologies, which operates Ola cabs, to say that the aggregator had violated the Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregator Rules, 2016.
Ola and Uber, which had launched bike taxis in Bengaluru in 2016, were forced to discontinue the service after a few months as transport officials seized their vehicles. Ola had resumed operation of bike taxis in February this year.
Govt bans Ola Cabs for 6 months across Karnataka for running bike taxis illegally