NEW DELHI: Even as the Delhi government has cracked down on app-based taxi aggregators for "surge pricing", one such operator has been overcharging commuters -- showing higher toll or state tax.
Ola has been overcharging on toll and state tax for a ride in the national capital region from Delhi to Noida or in the reverse direction.
While the actual toll charged by the Uttar Pradesh government for a taxi crossing over from Delhi is Rs.60, the cab operator has been charging higher, sometimes even double.
In reverse, while the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) toll for a taxi crossing into Delhi is Rs.100 the operator has charged some passengers a higher amount, as the bills generated by the aggregator show.
One complainant, who resides in east Delhi's Mayur Vihar, said she has been overcharged since the beginning of April for the 4.2 km she travels to and from work in Noida.
"I am an occasional traveller by taxi and I prefer Ola cabs for commuting from Noida Sector 16 to Mayur Vihar or in reverse direction. A month back the bill used to be around Rs.170-180 for the 4.2 km distance; but on April 11, I had to pay Rs.286," she told IANS, declining to be named.
"When I went through the bills of my ride, I found that Rs.165 was charged under the State Tax/MCD charges," she added. There were two other occasions with the same amount.
When contacted the head of corporate communication for Ola, Aditya Bhalla, said they have a "transparent fare system", where a commuter can check all the details of their ride on their website and also the bill.
When the invoice number of at least two instances of such overcharging were given to him, Bhalla said that if a commuter thinks he or she has been overcharged then they must register their complaint with the customer care service and the company will hear their grievances. He said he would get back to IANS, but till Saturday afternoon he had not.
North MCD spokesperson, Y.S. Mann told IANS: "MCD toll charges for private taxis in Delhi is Rs.100, and if they are charging more, then the passenger must take up the issue with the taxi operators as MCD receives only Rs.100 from them."
Another passenger too complained of overcharging on tax by Ola during a ride from Mayur Vihar to Noida.
"I prefer Ola over other taxi operators, but I was surprised to see Rs 120 has been charged as state tax, which is actually Rs.60 for entering Uttar Pradesh from Delhi."
The Ola website also says that a commuter needs to pay Rs.100 for entering Delhi from Noida, and Rs.60 to enter Uttar Pradesh from Delhi as MCD and state taxes.
The Delhi government which has warned taxi operators against surge pricing, said it hasn't received such complaints so far, but it will take action if people provide them proof.
"We haven't come across any such complaint as of now. If people have any proof or information about this then please give it to us, and we will look into the matter and take stern action," Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai told IANS.