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Ola Cabs Banned From Plying in Karnataka for Six Months, Calls Order Unfortunate

According to the state transport department, the company allegedly violated norms for cab aggregators.

Sharath Sharma Kalagaru | News18

Updated:March 22, 2019, 9:30 PM IST
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Bengaluru: The Karnataka Transport Department has ordered the cancellation of Ola Cabs’ licence for allegedly flouting guidelines for cab aggregators.

On Friday, top sources from the department told News18 that it has imposed a state-wide ban on Ola Cabs for the next six months. A copy of the order is with News18.

“They have violated the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016, hence we have decided to cancel the licence,” said an unidentified official from the department.

As per the official order, the licence was cancelled primarily because Ola Cabs had started two-wheeler services even as it did not have a permit to run motorbikes.

“We have received information that Ola has started motorbike service. Upon acting on information, we conducted a preliminary inquiry and found out that Ola is indulged [indulging] in unlawful activity. First, a notice has been served to Ani Technologies Pvt Ltd (Ola), which has been asked to explain within a week,” reads the order.

While the company’s management had reportedly submitted a written response to the department, the authorities found it unsatisfying.

“The explanation was not sufficient, hence the department is initiating the action and cancelling the permit. For the next six month, Ola Cabs is banned from plying on Karnataka roads and the original permission papers should be handed over to the transport department within three days of this order,” it says.

Ola started its 2010 in Mumbai in 2010 and its head office later relocated to Bengaluru. With over 10,000 cabs in Karnataka, the company provides services in Mysuru, Mangaluru, Hubli and Bengaluru.

Calling the ban order unfortunate, Ola has said that they are evaluating all options to find an 'amicable solution'.

"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. 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, Ola halted our bike taxi experiment weeks ago, instead seeking 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," said a company spokesperson.

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