Delhi again tells Uber, Ola to stop cab services till licenced

The Delhi government is seeking to once more block taxi aggregators Ola and Uber from operating in the state, following a letter by the state transport department to this effect.

On Tuesday, Delhi transport officials had asked Uber and Ola to cease operations if they want their applications for radio taxi licences to be processed.

The letter said, "In order to process your application further, I am directed to seek a sworn affidavit declaring therein that you are complying with the ban order imposed upon your company in letter and spirit."

The government in December had banned all unregistered web-based taxi companies from operating in Delhi after a rape committed by a Uber driver.

Uber halted operations after the complaint but resumed in January after applying for a radio-taxi licence. Ola, backed by Japanese telecom firm  SoftBank Corp, continued operations.

The latest development could add legal wrangles if the companies do not adhere to transport department guidelines, it is learnt.

An Ola spokesperson said, "We are working with the state authorities at every level and have duly applied for a license in the state of Delhi. We haven't received any notice or notification after that. On the other hand, we have proactively gone over and beyond the set requirements in terms of customer safety measures across the country."

 There are 19 radio taxi operators in the country, including Mega Cabs, Easy Cabs, Meru Cabs, and Tab Cabs, according to the Association of Radio Taxis. These operators run over 25,000 cabs across India.

A lot of interest has been coming from global investors into India's cab aggregator space as well with names such as Softbank investing in Ola last year.

In fact only this week, the Bennet Coleman group that owns the Times of India newspaper, announced a 'strategic partnership' with Uber through its arm Times Internet. (See: Times Internet to invest 'under Rs100 cr' in taxi service Uber).