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Ola, Uber, Rapido auto service banned from today; Namma Yatri app to launch from Nov 1

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Bengaluru, Oct 12: The Karnataka government has made booking of autorickshaws on the ride-hailing apps of Ola and Uber illegal from today. The decision was taken following a meeting between the Karnataka Transport and Road Safety Department and the representatives of the cab aggregators Tuesday.

According to reports, Transport Commissioner T H M Kumar held a meeting with the three companies and they have agreed to stop aggregating autorickshaws starting from Wednesday. In a briefing with reporters, Kumar said the ride-hailing platforms such as Ola and Uber cannot provide autorickshaw services till the government takes a decision.

Ola, Uber, Rapido auto service banned from today; Namma Yatri app to launch from Nov 1

The state government also warned app cab aggregators that it would be imposing a fine of Rs 5,000 on vehicles found operating illegally. No action will be taken against the autorickshaws and only the firms found to be aggregating them will have to pay penalties.

This development comes after the Karnataka government declared the auto-rickshaw services of players such as Ola, Uber and Rapido "illegal", following multiple complaints of overcharging.

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The Karnataka State Road Transport Authority issued notices to these companies on Thursday in which it stated that the cab aggregators have been allowed to run the internet-based application taxi aggregator services under the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rule-2016. Uber and Ola had told the government that they have complied with the rules and reduced their minimum auto fare for the first two km back to Rs 30.

"Ola and Uber are meant to help commuters without causing them any trouble, but we are getting complaints every year... also there are certain technical issues involved, so notice has been issued to them," Sriramulu told news agency PTI in response to a question.

Noting that certain conditions were laid down, such as rate fixation among others, while granting licenses, he said, "notices have been issued because there are violations, and on getting a clarification from them, I will take a decision within one or two days."

When told that vehicles were operating despite notice and directions to stop, the Minister said, "I have sent officials, I have ordered them to seize Ola and Uber vehicles operating despite directions."

The action comes after many passengers complained of overcharging by the autorickshaws operating under apps like Ola and Uber.

As per the rules, only taxi services can be provided and taxi means a motor-cab having a seating capacity not exceeding six passengers excluding the driver with public service permit on contract, it said.

Karnataka govt directs seizure of Ola, Uber autos still plying, despite orders to stopKarnataka govt directs seizure of Ola, Uber autos still plying, despite orders to stop

Officials also said that licenses issued to cab aggregators, Ola and Uber expired last year, and that they can't act against the aggregators because of a case pending before the Karnataka High Court.

Meanwhile, the Autorickshaw Drivers Union (ARDU) is set to launch its own smartphone app, "Namma Yatri" on November 1. With assistance from the Beckn Foundation, which is backed by Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, ARDU will introduce the app built on the open mobility network, according to a report in Times of India. Namma Yatri app claims to charge a flat Rs 40 fare in a 2-km radius between metro stations and residence/office and will collect an additional Rs 10 as pick up charge.

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