Karnataka suspended homegrown cab aggregator Ola’s licence to operate in the state for six months after failing to comply with an order to suspend “illegal” two-wheeler taxi services in the capital Bengaluru. Ola said it would work with officials to resolve the matter. Currently, bike taxis in Karnataka are illegal due to lack of policy framework and is also strongly opposed by the Ola TaxiForSure and Uber Drivers’ Association in fear of loss of business. “Under the licence, only app-based taxi services were permitted and there was no permission for bike taxis,” the transport department said in its notice to Ola on 18 March.
In response, an Ola spokesperson said it was a law-abiding company that has always worked with the government. “We are evaluating all options to find an amicable solution wherein hundreds of thousands of driver-partners in the state of KarnatakaResponding to the ban by Karnataka Transport Department, Ola said that it is a law-abiding company. The statement by the cab-hailing service emphasised that it has always worked with the Government to develop livelihoods, improve mobility, and enable a new technology industry. In February last year, the state transport department had asked the app-based ride-hailing firm to stop its bike taxi services with immediate effect after a complaint.