The federation of Karnataka Lorry Owners and Agents Associations’ G.R. Shanmugappa on Friday warned the State government that they would halt all commercial vehicles across the State if it did not reign in app-based cab aggregators services in the State in general and coastal districts in particular.
Addressing members of the Dakshina Kannada Taximen and Maxicab Association here, Mr. Shanmugappa said that the Union government had given an option to State governments either to allow or prevent app-based cab aggregators. He is also the vice-president of the All India Motor Transport Congress.
The Deputy Commissioner of the district concerned is the competent authority to issue orders and the federation urge the Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner to restrain app-based aggregators, Mr. Shanmugappa said. He claimed that district magistrates in Kolkata and Chandigarh have taken steps to ban app-based aggregators in their jurisdiction.
He said that the operators did not intend to trouble the public by resorting to strikes and waited for the government to act since the past six months.
However, the government did not act and the operators were forced to hold the current protest. If the government did not act, the operators would be forced to intensify their struggle, Mr. Shanmugappa warned.
Traditional taxi operators in Dakshina Kannada are up in arms against the entry of Ola Cabs in Mangaluru, claiming app-based operators would eliminate traditional operators thereby rendering thousands jobless.
Addressing the members, Dakshina Kannada Association president K. Monappa Bhandari alleged that app-based operators were being funded through black money and were patronised by politicians and bureaucrats. For the past six months, the State transport department has been dilly-dallying on regulating app-based operators, he said.
Mr. Bhandari said while traditional taxi operators are known persons in the locality and have been responsible towards passengers, the same cannot be said with regard to app-based aggregators.
Traditional taxi operators do not have any objections if app-based operators obtain the necessary permits and work within the existing framework of law, said Bangalore Tourist Taxi Owners Association General Secretary K. Radhakrishna Holla.
Earlier, the operators took out a procession with their vehicles on the main roads in the city before assembling near the Deputy Commissioner’s office.