Ola, Uber cab drivers stage protest in city over seizure of cabs

Ola, Uber cab drivers stage protest in city over seizure of cabs

Submitted by Rashmi on Tue, 2016-05-31 23:05 Bengaluru: Passengers heading to KIA and motorists were severely inconvenienced after Ola and Uber cab drivers staged a protest at the Devanahalli toll plaza on Tuesday over the transport department’s decision to seize cabs plying illegally without licence and violation of other permit conditions.Angry cab drivers blocked the road throwing traffic out of gear on the busy airport road. Passengers depending on cabs to reach the airport also suffered as cabs from the two aggregators were not available.Police officials from the airport police station requested drivers to withdraw the protest and solve the issue through discussions but the drivers refused, leading to heated arguments between drivers and police officials.Later, more than 500 cab drivers gathered in Cubbon Park to protest against the state transport department and also cab aggregators.HP Kumar, secretary of the Karnataka State Vehicle Drivers’ Central Committee, said that they had approached the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission as their drivers were being harassed by cab aggregators and also transport department officials.Ravi Kumar, a cab driver said, “Earlier we were paying Rs 3500 for three months for state and national permits. But now the state government has asked us to take city permit too for Rs 10000 for 3 months, which has to be renewed as well. If we fail, the cab owner will be penalised RS 20,000 and also driver with Rs 10,000.”Transport Commissioner Rame Gowda said the transport department was not going to go back on its decision. “We will enforce the law in any circumstance,” he said.The transport department has so far seized more than 500 cabs in the last one week. A few days ago, the transport department had sent a notice to the cab aggregators seeking details of the drivers and asking them to avail licence under the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregator Rules. But the cab aggregators allowed the drivers to operate and had submitted details of only 100 drivers.According to the new rules, aggregators will have to pay Rs500 per taxi besides a licence fee of Rs1 lakh and a security deposit to avail of the licence.