Ride-sharing business provider Uber Technologies and its local Indian competitor Ola were asked by New Delhi authorities to end operations, risking otherwise a positive result for their ongoing applications for radio-taxi licenses.
The news comes from a Reuters report, with the media information provider claiming to have seen letters sent to the two companies. Back in December India asked for the closure of all unregistered web-based taxi operations because a female passenger claimed a driver working for US-based Uber had raped her in New Delhi. Subsequently the company stopped operations that month but ultimately resumed after in January asking the authorities for a radio-taxi license. Backed by Japan’s SoftBank Corp, Ola, never stopped its usual business operations. Delhi’s government transport department also sent similar, but separate letters to the local divisions of the two companies, telling them that providing the services would contravene the December government-issued interdiction.
“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,” said in the letters a transport department official. The legislation installed by Delhi’s transport department in December has forced companies operating taxi-hailing smartphone-based applications to provide emergency buttons in the cars and they also had to be fitted with tracking devices.
Uber Technologies, valued today north of $40 billion by interested investors, has been very keen on expanding rapidly with its ride-hailing operations both domestically in the US and overseas. Their rapid move has endangered the traditional taxi and limousine services, sparking numerous protests and legal issues with authorities all over the world.