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  4. 'Delhi me daaru pe ban nahi fir bike taxi pe kyun?' ask thousands of Ola, Rapido, Uber bike taxi drivers

'Delhi me daaru pe ban nahi fir bike taxi pe kyun?' ask thousands of Ola, Rapido, Uber bike taxi drivers

The Delhi Transport Department issued a public notice to Ola, Uber and Rapido to stop their bike taxi services in the capital effective immediately, citing the violation of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

Reported By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Updated on: March 04, 2023 11:55 IST
A bike taxi driver agitating against the Delhi government.
A bike taxi driver agitating against the Delhi government.

Bike taxis ban: Delhi is not only the national capital but a "dream capital" for millions of those who land in the city with boundless hopes of getting better employment opportunities and eventually a better life. Barely a few formulate what they coveted. We are among those, who scarcely arrange meals for two times, quality education for our kids for whom we have been working tirelessly, said Ram Singh, (name changed for the sake of being identified by his employer), who drives a black colour two-wheeler on the busy roads of Delhi-Noida. Despite working in all weather for more than 12 hours a day, we hardly afford a basic toy for our kids, he added.

His sharp remarks came as the Delhi Transport Department issued a public notice to Ola, Uber and Rapido to stop their bike taxi services in the capital effective immediately, citing the violation of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. 

"How govt can ban it if it is feeding more than 20k families?"

Singh, who came from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh's Sitapur district, is not aware of the laws that the Delhi government imposed on thousands of "bike taxi" drivers. He clamoured about why the government has banned their bike taxi services in the national capital when it is feeding more than twenty thousand families.

Singh, who is in his 40s and is living with his two kids and wife in a 400-metre square rented house in Noida Sector 82, said, "The government has imposed a ban on the taxi aggregators like Ola, Uber and Rapido, despite knowing the fact the companies are providing jobs to more than 20,000-30,000 in Delhi and the neighbouring Noida region." "If they are really concerned about the laws and morality, why don't they impose a ban on the sale of alcohol as it can kill the consumer and has the potential to transform societies into hell," asked Singh.

Earning decreased significantly

When asked how he engaged with Rapido and his monthly earning, he lamented his decision of choosing bike taxi service as his profession. Singh, while driving his two-wheeler from Sector 82 to Mayur Vihar Phase-I, narrated he lost his job to the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, he left with no other option and arranged a bank loan to buy a two-wheeler. Initially, he said that he was earning around Rs 15,000-18,000 but after the ban, the earning went down to Rs 9,000-12,000. Singh said it was nearly next to impossible to run a family of four with such a minimum earning.

"How does govt impose the ban so blindly?"

Expressing similar concerns over his future, Abhishek Tiwari, who is in his 30s, and has been associated with Ola for the past three years, said his situation is even worse as he has to send around Rs 4,000-5,000 money to his family living in the village. "I brought a two-wheeler on loan which took me nearly three years to complete the bank borrowings. I am married and have two kids. I was working in a shop but my friends insisted to join the bike taxi in order to earn a little bit extra. Initially, I earned nearly Rs 1,500- 2,000 per day, but now, it has been reduced to Rs 700-800," said Tiwari.

"If the company started the bike taxi services, the government should have imposed a ban. But, when it employs more than 20,000 people in the national capital alone, how do they impose the ban so blindly?" asked the 30-year-old bike taxi "captain".

Delhi me daru allowed hai bike taxis nahi?

When asked about his demands to the Delhi government, Tiwari said (CM Arvind) Kejriwal should immediately take up the issue and amend the policy to safeguard the lives of thousands of people like us. "Delhi me daaru pe kaise sarkar ne faisla le liya.. usse to log marte hai... aur yahan humari aur family dono ki jaan pe baan ayi hai.. fir v sarkar koi koi fark ni padta..(How does the Delhi government change the policy of liquor... people drink and die.. but here, it is the question of ours and thousands of families dependent on the bike captains," he said. 

Why has Delhi banned bike taxi services?

According to the Delhi government, bike taxis – with private bikes (white number plates)-- have been used by a maximum number of "captains" without any commercial license. Hence, it violates the Motor Vehicles Act, of 1988 which states a commercial vehicle should have a "yellow number plate" and the driver must also have a commercial license.  

Also, for the aggregators, the 2019 Amendment to the Act directs that the company cannot operate without a valid licence. "It has been brought to the notice that two-wheelers having non-transport (private) registration mark/numbers are being used to carry passengers on hire which is a purely commercial operation and a violation of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988," the transport department said in the notice.

Is the government planning to revise the law?

In a microblogging post, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot confirmed that the Arvind Kejriwal-led government is working on the "aggregator policy for 2W (two-wheelers), 3W (three-wheelers) and 4W (four-wheelers). Gehlot said that the framing of policies is in its final stage and will be rolled out soon.

What would be the aggregator's next step?

As of writing this article, neither Ola nor Rapido replied to the queries sent via e-mails. It will be updated as soon as the companies reply to the emails.

Also Read: Ola, Uber, Dunzo reported as the worst platforms: Know-why?

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