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Cab Operators demands ban on Ola Cabs

Hyderabad, Feb 23 (INN): The Telangana State Cabs and Bus Operators Association (TSCBOA) on Monday demanded action against ‘Ola Cabs’ and other ‘Aggregators’ who have recently intensified their operations in the Greater Hyderabad limits.

In separate representations made to Deputy Chief Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali, Transport Minister P Mahender Reddy and Transport Commissioner Sandeep Kumar Sultania, the Association members alleged that the city was facing a potential threat from some “Aggregators” who wants to indirectly sabotage the travel and IT industry of Hyderabad. It said that the working module of Ola Cabs was similar to the Uber Taxi, which faced a nation-wide ban after the incident of rape in December 2014 in New Delhi. “Their operations not only pose a threat to the safety and security of passengers, but also to the organized Travel and IT Industry of Hyderabad,” TSCBOA President Syed Nizamuddin said.

Besides Syed Nizamuddin (Nizams Cabs), the TSCBOA delegation comprised of K Srinivas Rao, Aijaz Ahmed, Venkatesh Goud,Laxman Rao and others.

The TSCBOA members alleged that the Ola Cabs is luring the drivers with unimaginable commissions. “The amounts are so huge that many drivers and cab owners have started withdrawing their vehicles and services from the regular duties to get them engaged with Old Cabs. As it was noticed in the case of Uber, the Ola Cabs too do not conduct any background checks for their drivers. They simply rely on the documents submitted by the drivers to the company. They do not even verify their addresses but depend on the addresses on which their bank accounts have been opened. They never check the authenticity of those addresses,” they alleged.

The drivers are being provided with iPhone 4s which has an Ola application that cannot be deleted. However, if the phone is switched off, the GPS also gets switched off. Therefore, there is no way to track the vehicle in case drivers switch off the phone, said Nizamuddin.

While questioning the source of huge funding for Ola Cabs, the TSCBOA alleged that the amounts being spent by Ola Cabs does not fit into any category of investments or spending. “They are simply dumping lakhs of rupees only to sabotage the existing Travel and IT Industry. The hundreds of IT companies have long-term contracts with regular operators like us in Hyderabad. Therefore, any disruption in the operations will not only hit our businesses, but it will also affect the IT industry due to erratic fleet operations,” it said.

Nizamuddin said that many drivers have fallen into the trap of commissions and incentives and giving up their regular sources of income. However, in order to earn more commission, they are making multiple trips and working for 16-18 hours on daily basis. Consequently, they are under huge stress, both physically and mentally. “The sleep-deprived and stressed drivers are unsafe for themselves and others on our city roads,” he said.

The TSCBOA alleged that the business module adopted by Old Cabs and other Aggregators was completely unethical and aimed at destroying the regular travel, IT and other related industries. It demanded stern and immediate action against such operators.

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