Drivers and operators of cabs in the city have claimed that the Karnataka government is not fully prepared to implement the security system.

Taxi operators in Bengaluru oppose Centres move to install panic button with GPSImage for representation
news Transport Saturday, January 05, 2019 - 15:39

Taxi owners and drivers working with cab aggregators Ola and Uber have opposed the central government's move to make a vehicle tracking device and panic button mandatory from this month.

Tanveer Pasha, President of Ola, Taxi for Sure, Uber Drivers and Owners Association, confirmed that drivers and operators of cabs in the city were opposed to the state government's move due to their lack of preparedness to implement the proposed system.

“We are opposing the installation of the button and GPS system until the government readies the control room to make use of these features. It is of no use to install the panic button and GPS system without the government preparing a system to monitor it,” Tanveer Pasha told TNM.

He further added that the taxi operators were unwilling to spend the Rs 12,000 needed to install the device from the only recognised vendor in the state and termed the price to be much higher than its actual cost. He also raised concerns over the privacy of customer data.

Karnataka Transport Minister DC Thammanna called for a meeting on Friday to demonstrate the installation of GPS with panic buttons in commercial passenger vehicles with national permits. However, drivers and operators of taxis in Bengaluru boycotted the meeting.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of the central government had made the installation of devices mandatory for commercial vehicles through a notification which took effect in the state on January 1.

The decision was taken after several incidents were reported in which cab drivers, particularly from Ola, were accused of harassing customers. Ola, in its response, confirmed in December 2018 that it had begun a crackdown on its driver partners over the concerns of safety.

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