After many tussles with Karnataka government concerning the unlicensed operation in the state, cab aggregator Ola is likely to get a license from the Karnataka state road transport authority within a few days. It will make also it the first licensed app-based cab aggregator in India.
The state government had implemented the Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregator Rules 2016 two months back on April 2, which cites section 93 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, stating that persons engaged in soliciting customers for travel by public service vehicles are required to obtain a licence from the appropriate authority stipulated by the state government.
It makes it mandatory for cab aggregators to have a minimum strength of 100 cabs in its fleet and a maximum of 15,000 cars to obtain a license.
They should also ensure facilities to monitor the movement of taxis with the help of GPS and GPRS along with a control room facility and display boards inside the taxis containing vehicle permit and the driver’s details such as a photograph, name, driving licence and ID card issued by the police department.
While this will surely resolve the ongoing showdown between app-based cab aggregators and the Karnataka state government, it is yet unclear whether cab aggregators will now have to obtain similar licenses in other states where they operate.
HG Kumar, the additional commissioner of transport and secretary, Karnataka state transport authority, had told TOI, “The license will be ready in two days. They have fulfilled the conditions under the new rule and furnished details of 100 vehicles. These vehicles have city and state taxi permits. The company has also paid more than Rs 1 lakh as a security deposit. But its sister concern TaxiForSure has not yet complied with the rules. Ola has made a separate application for licensing the latter.”
The license, that will be issued under these rules, amounts to a contract carriage permit issued under section 74 or under subsection (B) of Section BB of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and will be valid for five years.
Uber, Ola’s other competitor in India is yet to make any move towards obtaining such license.