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Ola cabs banned in Karnataka for 6 months

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Bengaluru, Mar 22: Aggregator Ola Cabs has been banned from operating in Bengaluru for the next six months, the state transport department has said in a notification. The move comes after the company allegedly operated illegal bike taxis in the state.

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"Karnataka transport department has suspended the license of Ola Cabs across the state for six months. Licence has been cancelled for operating bike taxis without permission and not replying to the notices of transport department," the transport department said in the notice issued in Kannadda on March 18.

According to the notice: "Earlier this year, Transport Department officials had seized several bikes which were operating as bike taxis for Ola. The officials probed the case and submitted a report to the Transport Commissioner. According to section 11 (1) The Karnataka On Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules 2016, the Transport Department can decide to cancel the license of the cab aggregator as there is a violation of rules."

"Prior to this, a notice must be sent to the company in question. Hence on February 15, 2019, the Transport Department had sent Ola a notice, asking the company to respond to the findings of the probe. Ola sent its reply on March 3, 2019.

As the company's reply was not satisfactory and did not provide any evidence which proved it did not violate norms, the Transport Department, as on March 18, 2019 has decided to suspend the license of Ola for a period of six months. Ola will have to submit the original copy of the license within three days of receiving a copy of this order."

"This notification is unfortunate, and we look forward to an opportunity to address these concerns directly with state officials to find a solution for our driver-partners and millions of Ola users in Karnataka," Ola said in a statement.

The state transport department had on February 15 issued a notice to Ola, warning the company that it would suspend its aggregator licence if it did not comply with the ban on bike taxis.

The city is estimated to have 120,000 cabs, out of which around 65,000 operate on the Uber and Ola platforms interchangeably.

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