State Transport Minister, B Sriramulu in a statement on Wednesday said that the Karnataka government may develop its own app to help auto-rickshaw users. This is in response to the row between cab aggregators Uber and Ola and the government.
Sriramulu's statement came after Uber, Ola and Rapido continued to operate their auto-ride hailing services despite a government notice ordering them to stop their services. The government notice also asked them to explain why they had been charging more than the stipulated government rates.
This is the second time that the minister has issued a warning to the app-based auto aggregators.
The minister made it clear that the government would not tolerate illegal operations by app-based firms in a response to local TV channels in the Gadag district. He also said that he had asked officials to take strict action against ride-hailing services that operated without a valid license.
According to reports, all three aggregators reduced the convenience fee from Rs 47 after tax to around Rs 25 after tax. This means that the Ola rides of one kilometer that were earlier at Rs 78 have come down to Rs 65.
Uber in a statement said, “We stand ready to work with the government to ensure that the benefits of e-hailing extend to the auto industry and particularly to the tens of thousands of drivers and several lakh riders who rely on aggregator apps such as ours.”
The Karnataka transport department had asked Uber, Ola and Rapido to appear before it for a trial earlier this week. The hearing started on October 11.
The High Court of Karnataka on October 13 asked the state government to meet the app-based auto aggregators and reach a consensus on the rate for offering auto rickshaw services through their apps.