Delhi govt asks IT ministry to block Uber and Ola apps

Radio cab companies have been told to install emergency buttons and tracking devices

GN Bureau | March 25, 2015


#radio cabs   #taxi service   #uber   #ola   #delhi government  

The Delhi state government has urged the ministry of Information Technology of India to block mobile applications of cab services Uber and Ola.

On Tuesday, Delhi transport officials had asked US-based Uber and Indian company Ola to cease all operations in the national capital, failure of which would lead the state government to not process their radio taxi license applications to operate in the city in future.

Rules set by Delhi's transport department in December last require companies operating taxi-hailing apps to install emergency buttons in their cabs and have tracking devices. "In order to process your application further, I am directed to seek a sworn affidavit declaring therein that you are complying with the ban order imposed upon your company in letter and spirit," an official from the transport department wrote.

The action against web-based taxi companies came after a rape incident involving a driver contracted to Uber in December last year.  The Uber taxi in which the alleged rape took place did not have a GPS installed on it.

The Delhi government has ordered all taxi operators plying in the national capital to install GPS in their vehicles. The directive will be enforced on all types of taxis.

The Delhi government had told the Delhi High Court that the government is taking action against taxi drivers found violating the ban imposed on unauthorised operation of radio taxis.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw was informed early this month by Delhi government's Standing Counsel Zubeda Begum that the department has banned Uber and Ola app-based cabs services and have also sent recommendation to the Centre to block their websites.

She, however, sought time to respond on the plying of the diesel-powered inter-state taxis in the national capital, which is violating the Supreme Court directive.

She contended that the Deputy Commissioner of transport department has also requested Delhi Traffic police to take appropriate action against the taxi operators found violating the ban orders.

She also said that the transport department has modified the Radio Taxi Scheme, 2006 and has laid down the terms and conditions for licensing of taxi services, which have come into force from December 2014.

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