Regulations on cards for web-based taxi services

Friday, Apr 10, 2015,20:13 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Panaji | The South India Transport Council has decided to regulate web and app-based taxi services to keep a check on their operations. The issue was discussed at the South Indian Transport Council (SITCO) meeting that ended today in Goa. It was decided in the meeting that all the participating states will issue circulars (to taxi service operators) regulating these kind of taxi services, SITCO secretary R Srilekha told reporters after the meeting today.
However, she did not elaborate on the content of the circulars to be issued to web-taxi service providers. The meeting was attended by transport ministers and other representatives from Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Telangana and Puducherry.
These taxi operators function online and they don’t have even a single vehicle. They outsource the business to a taxi owner and earn commission from it. The company does not even know whether the vehicle is in proper condition and is also unaware about antecedents of the drivers, Srilekha said.
Under the Information Technology Act, there is a provision for police to regulate these taxi services, but there are no powers under Motor Vehicle Act, which makes the transport department helpless, she said. During the meeting, which began yesterday, the SITCO had demanded proper regulation of web-based taxi services by the Union government, in view of the rape of a 27-year-old girl by a driver of Uber cab service in Delhi.
In the recent past, there was confusion regarding the regulation of web-based or app-based taxi operators. I would urge the Central government to frame guidelines for regulations, so that there is a uniformity in the country, Karnataka’s Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy had said during the meeting. Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari was present at the inauguration of the meeting.