The Karnataka transport department has asked the app-based bike-taxi service Rapido to suspend its services in the state.
A week ago, cab aggregator Ola paid Rs 1.5 million in fines for operating bike-taxis without a licence in Karnataka. Ola has moved the Karnataka High Court against the state transport department for non-issuance of licence. Ola has also sought the banning of all bike taxi services in the states until an official order is issued.
“We had issued notices to Rapido directing the company to immediately suspend the bike taxi services. The department is not satisfied with their response and would be taking legal steps to ensure they stop the operations,” Narendra Holkar, additional commissioner of transport told ET.
The department has seized at least 170 Rapido bike-taxis till now. “We are filing a charge-sheet in these cases and the registration certificate of the bikes will also be confiscated,” Gnanendra Kumar, Joint Commissioner (Enforcement) told ET. He said 24 bikes were seized on Wednesday and 18 more on Thursday.
Bengaluru-based Rapido provides bike taxi service and is present in 13 cities across India including Gurgaon, Mysore, Vijaywada, Patna, Trichi, Vishakhapatnam, Indore, among others. Earlier this year, it raised USD 10 million from a Hong Kong-based investment firm Integrated Capital.
“While the seizure will continue, we will book a case against Rapido for allowing the use of whiteboard two-wheelers for commercial purposes. This is against the Motor Vehicle Act. Drivers should also refrain from operating in their platform,” Kumar said.
Deputy transport commissioner from Bangalore Central Regional Transport Office (RTO) filed a complaint with the police.
“No authority has given permission for the company to provide bike taxis. The service violates the Motor Vehicle Act and threatens the safety of passengers. The investigation has been done and cases have been registered in various RTOs. It is, therefore, requested to ensure the app is taken down,” the complaint read.
Ola had paid Rs 6,000 each for the 250 vehicles seized by the department on March 25. Rapido is facing a fine in the range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per offence.