Ola, Uber cabs plying ‘illegally’ in Mumbai: State Transport Minister

Ola, Uber cabs plying 'illegally' in Mumbai: State Transport Minister
Cabs affiliated with app-based aggregators are a threat to existing black & yellow taxis and are violating SC orders by not running on CNG, Raote said

In a bold statement, Maharashtra transport minister Diwakar Raote on Monday alleged that Ola and Uber cabs were plying illegally in the city.

The minister made the statement while addressing a gathering during the inaugural function of 30th Road Safety Week at Y B Chavan Centre at Nariman Point.

“These aggregator cabs have all-India permits, but instead of coming under the purview of a new city taxi scheme introduced by the government, driver partners and the firms prefer to operate on their own,” he was quoted as saying.

The Maharashtra City Taxi Scheme 2017 was introduced in a bid to regulate app-based cabs in the city. However, the scheme never saw the light of day as Ola and Uber challenged its implementation in court.

Raote argued that cabs affiliated with the app-based aggregators were a threat to existing black & yellow taxis and were violating norms since they were not necessarily running on CNG, a mandate for all city cabs per the Supreme Court’s order.

The minister also stated that the aggregators were given permission for operating tourist taxis, but were operating within city limits as app-based cabs.

As of publishing this report, Raote’s statement did not elicit any response from Ola or Uber, which run an estimated 40,000 cabs in Mumbai.

Earlier this week, the Bombay High Court also asked the Maharashtra government to implement the Khatua panel report to reduce fatalities on state roads, which stood at 13,059 in 2018. Regulating app-based taxis is one of the recommendations of the report.

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