Transport Department halts Namma TYGR operations

Says taxis were being run without obtaining licence

January 21, 2018 12:28 am | Updated 12:28 am IST - BENGALURU

Operations of the new app-based cab aggregator ‘Namma TYGR’, which is backed by the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, has hit a roadblock. The Transport Department has stopped its operations, calling it illegal as it does not have the required permission.

“The aggregator was operating taxis without a licence as per the Karnataka On-demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules,” said Transport Commissioner B. Dayananda, adding that the enforcement wing headed by the Joint Commissioner had taken action.

Jayanagar RTO has seized two taxis attached to the aggerator. “Namma TYGR had neither obtained the licence nor applied for one. After our action, they have stopped their operations and the mobile app is no longer functional,” said Joint Commissioner of Transport, Bengaluru Urban, Gnanendra Kumar.

Namma TYGR was launched in the last week of November by the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda. There were reports that more than 5,000 drivers were ready to attach their vehicles with the aggregator hoping that the new platform would protect their business interest.

Sumit Kumar, a director of Huli Technologies which operates Namma TYGR taxis, said though the mobile app was launched, they were only operating taxis on a pilot basis. “We are in the process of updating our mobile app. As the issue of aggregator rules is pending before the court, we did not apply for the licence. In the next week, we will approach the department and may also look at the legal options before us,” said Mr. Kumar.

However, Mr. Kumar refuted these claims and maintained that Uber and Ola had approached the court, challenging certain provisions of the rule. “It has got nothing do with seeking licence,” he said.

Tanveer Pasha, president of the Karnataka Taxi Owners’ Federation, who was also instrumental in conceptualising Namma TYGR, raised the issue of violations by other aggregators. “The same department allows illegal operation of share rides and illegal operations by other aggregators in the city,” he said.

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