The Karnataka Transport Department has suspended the licence of ride-hailing company Ola Cabs for six months in Bengaluru for running bike taxis without permission, IANS reported. In a notice to parent company ANI Technologies Private Limited, Ola Cabs has been asked to return its licence as well as cease all its operations with immediate effect.
The ban order, dated March 18, was issued for violating the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules, 2016. “Under the licence, only app-based taxi services were permitted and there was no permission for bike taxis,” the department said, according to Mint.
Transport Commissioner VP Ikkeri told The Hindu that the enforcement wing of the transport department had impounded nearly 260 two-wheelers belonging to Ola in Bengaluru in the last month.
Ola said despite “other companies” who continued to operate illegally, the transport department had halted their bike taxis. “Instead we sought the state’s cooperation to develop a legal framework for a pilot that will continue to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the mobility economy,” the company said in a statement, according to Mint. “This notification is unfortunate, and we look forward to an opportunity to address these concerns directly with state officials to find a solution for our driver-partners and millions of Ola users in Karnataka.”
Despite the order being issued on Monday, users said they were able to book an autorickshaw or a taxi through Ola’s app late on Friday, Reuters reported.