The six-month suspension on taxi aggregator Ola in Bengaluru will be revoked only after the company pays Rs 15 lakh to the Regional Transport Authority. Ola's license was suspended after it was found operating illegal bike taxis in the city. Though it was announced on Sunday that the suspension would be revoked, it has now been revealed that Ola will have to pay the fine before the order is lifted.
VP Ikkeri, Commissioner of Road Transport and Safety, Bengaluru, told mediapersons on Monday that the moment the taxi aggregator pays the fine, it will be allowed to legally function. When questioned about how he rolled back his decision within a few days, he said, “It is my discretionary power in the law to modify the suspension order within 30 days”.
He denied any political pressure and said the decision was based on representations made by various stakeholders, including drivers, who said they had to pay their EMIs.
In a statement, Ola said that the issue has been resolved. “We are glad that the issue stands resolved and we regret any inconvenience caused to our driver-partners and passengers since Friday,” the statement read.
“We look forward to continue working with the state, to help address the challenges of mobility. We are committed to creating and enhancing livelihood opportunities for millions of driver-partners in the time to come,” it added.
On Friday, it was reported that Ola was staring at a six-month suspension of its operating license in Bengaluru. This came after Ola illegally operated bike taxis.
An order dated March 18 stated that Ola had to submit its original license to the RTO from Monday for operating bike taxis. Due to the lack of policy framework, all bikes taxis are illegal.
Monday's decision comes after Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy authorised Chief Secretary Vijay Bhaskar to take a decision on the issue.
Priyank Kharge, minister of Social Welfare, said on Twitter that business for Ola would be as usual.
Speaking to TNM, the minister had said, “I've had a meeting with the Transport Department. The transport officials have also met the chief secretary. It'll be resolved, it should not be a problem. There are new technologies that are being introduced.”
“Policy in any part of the world, not only in Bengaluru, is always playing catch-up with technology. Innovation happens faster than policy. That is why we had suggested that any innovation that needs to be evaluated by the government. We will come up with an innovation authority which will be headed by the CM,” he added.