The Karnataka state government banned Ola and Uber from operating their car-pooling services in the state for violating the Motor Vehicles Act, a couple weeks ago. This issue was raised by suffering cabbies at a grievance meet conducted by the Transport ministry towards the end of January. The regressive ban was issued post the meeting, in favor of the drivers.
Both the aggregators were given a sharp deadline of 15 days to withdraw the service. However, Uber responded with a clear no defying the withdrawal of UberPool service whereas Ola showed a mild reaction. The transport department even suffered criticism from company representatives asking for a definite clarification.
On being unable to offer an explanation to agitated protesters, Karnataka state transport department on Monday further extended the existing 15 day deadline for an unspecified amount of time. The extension was announced by MK Aiyappa, Commissioner, Transport Department. The action will suffice the revenue proceeds for Ola and Uber and will relieve the pockets of consumers for the time being.
Reasoning out the extension of the given deadline, MK Aiyappa said,
Based on the representation received from cab aggregators, we have sought clarification from the state government. Until then, the ride-share services can continue.
As result of neglecting the orders passed, Karnataka Transport Department even took hold of over 30 cabs of Ola and Uber. However, the ride-hailing giants continued their ride-sharing services for the public in the city, flushing out the seize. Uber also floated a public petition so as to gain support for its car-pooling services from commuters . The petition stated prevention of more than 9,364,772 kilometers of unnecessary driving along with saving 4,40,623 liters of fuel and cutting over 1,037,000 kg of CO2 emissions.
It seems like efforts by the companies wasn’t a waste. The move by Transport department will provide a ticking clock to Ola and Uber to come up with better solutions for both commuters as well as drivers. Though it was not mentioned for how long the limit is stretched further, it may end anytime soon. To survive against the other, Ola and Uber will have to push boundaries and market a better product.