Wednesday saw the Karnataka transport department convening a meeting with representatives of cab aggregator companies Uber and Ola, and the drivers’ union, after the latter protested against a number of company policies.
According to reports, both the parties have been given three days to iron out the differences, failing which, the government will intervene. The officials of the transport department met the representatives of the companies and the drivers separately.
Speaking to media after the meeting, transport commissioner MK Aiyappa said that many of the issues raised by the drivers could be sorted out at the company level itself.
“Many of the concerns raised can be worked out between the drivers and the companies. Why do they have to take to the streets? There are a few issues which come under the Motor Vehicles Act, like sharing of cabs and operating with a white licence plate, which are not allowed. We will wait till Monday and then intervene,” he was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
Meanwhile, the "share" and "pool" services of both the companies have come under the scanner, after it was found to be in violation of the contract carriage permit.
Share service is possible under a stage carriage permit that allows companies to charge based on stages of a trip. This, at present, can only be given to BMTC, reports The Hindu.
“We have told cab aggregators that share services are not permitted under the law. The contract permit only allows for picking and dropping from start to destination with no stops in the middle during a single trip,” said Transport Commissioner.
One of the demands of the drivers were that the companies should follow the government prescribed rate and that meters that display the distance and fare shall be installed in every cab.
The report further states that the drivers were not in possession of their contract details and were ignorant about what they are entitled for.
“We don't have the copies so we don't know what we are entitled to. When we dial the call centre number seeking a solution, we are either made to wait endlessly or told there is some software trouble. When we visit, we are roughed up by bouncers. We are not getting any money from the surge pricing system,” the report quoted a driver as saying.
Tanveer Pasha, state head of the Ola, Taxi4Sure and Uber Owners and Drivers Association said that the association will move legally against the companies if their grievances were not addressed by Monday.