BENGALURU: While the Karnataka government is yet to notify and release a written statement on whether commercial vehicles commuting in the city require a yellow badge (transport license), cab drivers, especially from Uber and Ola, have been facing the brunt of it all.
After a verbal statement released by the Supreme Court on commercial vehicles and autos not requiring the yellow badge in April, followed by a circular from the Ministry of Road Transportation and Highways, cab aggregators Uber and Ola began hiring drivers claiming that they do not require a license. However, since then, drivers have been facing the issue of getting fined by traffic police all over the city, paying up to `2,000.
A City Express reporter became witness to one driver’s unlucky day. Since the driver could not afford to pay the `2,000 fine, the cop had offered a parking violation ticket for `200. Tanveer Pasha, president of the Ola-Uber Driver’s Association, says this scenario is common among cab drivers. “The drivers do not have any other choice. These cab companies keep violating the rules and drivers face the brunt of their actions,” says Tanveer.
“Cab aggregators are hiring drivers without a license, and the transport department has not taken any action yet. They should stop putting up ads for drivers. I will have a meeting with the transport commissioner on Tuesday and discuss these issues,” Tanveer adds.
R Hithendra, traffic commissioner, says that they had “received instructions from the State Government to undertake random checking of cabs. This is due to complaints received regarding non-OIA (Official Information Act) or drivers travelling in a cab in the name of another.” Unfortunately, not many cab drivers are aware of this move.
Shiva Reddy was one among the many cab drivers who had to argue with a traffic cop on not requiring the yellow badge. He was stopped while travelling through Cooke Town. “They said that I needed a yellow badge, but the SC has already said that we do not require it,” he says.
However, according to lawyer CV Sudhindra, there is no written record of the statement made by the SC. “The law has still not been implemented- which means that cab companies cannot enforce the law on their own,” he says.
While Uber didn't respond to this, Ola said that they are currently not hiring drivers with private licences as drivers.