With West Bengal’s biggest festival just a month away, when the demand for cab hailing services increases manifold, Uber seems worried as the state government has been reportedly issuing limited number of commercial licenses.
Reported by PTI, the West Bengal transport department’s restricted issuing of licenses has led to a lesser number of cars joining taxi-hailing aggregator Uber in state capital Kolkata.
Ashwin Dias, the General Manager (east) of Uber India, told PTI, “Not many cars are joining the Uber platform in Kolkata for the last six months. The state transport department has been issuing commercial licences in a restricted manner which has been the cause.”
“In Kolkata, we will like to have more cars. During Pujas, we are expecting a lot of cars, but we are not seeing the visibility in the number of cars,” he said.
Dias told PTI that Uber had already obtained the ODTTA (On Demand Technology Transportation Aggregators) permit from the transport department. He also said that cars willing to join the platform would have to first obtain the commercial licence.
“Commercial licences are not being given like before. Since the last six months, there has been a substantial fall in the number of cars joining Uber,” he said.
Starting two years back in the city, Uber had helped around 10,000 individuals to generate income by joining the platform.
Dias said, “We also have many partners who had availed of the state government’s ‘Gatidhara’ scheme where a subsidy of Rs 1 lakh was been given for purchasing a vehicle.”
According to him, Uber’s target was to open 20,000 more such economic opportunities in the next two years subject to the state government relaxes the restriction in the issue of licences.
Dias also revealed Uber’s plans to encourage women to join the Uber platform as partners.