On the wrong track

Mo­bile app-based taxi ser­vices en­cour­age car pool­ing, of­fer cheaper per­sonal trans­port so­lu­tion. In­stead of ban­ning them, the gov­ern­ment must amend laws to reg­u­late the busi­ness model

Down to Earth - - NEW BUSINESS - ANU­PAM CHAKRAVARTTY |

Aser­vice com­pany Uber’s dream ride in In­dia came MER­I­CAN TAXI to a halt fol­low­ing rape ac­cu­sa­tion by a pas­sen­ger in Delhi against its driver on De­cem­ber 6.The in­ci­dent high­lighted how Uber failed to do back­ground checks on its driv­ers, and how it op­er­ated purely as a vir­tual en­tity in the coun­try,skirt­ing laws that gov­ern taxi ser­vices and en­sure safety of pas­sen­gers. On De­cem­ber 8, the Cen­tre is­sued a dik­tat ban­ning Uber and other taxi ser­vices,which op­er­ate through cut­ting-edge mo­bile or on­line ap­pli­ca­tions, un­til they get them­selves reg­is­tered with the gov­ern­ment un­der the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles Act of 1988.

This is not the first time an app-based taxi ser­vice has been pulled up. Since th­ese start-ups have come into be­ing in the past four to five years, they have been crit­i­cised in the US, UK, Brazil and Bel­gium for fail­ing to abide by lo­cal rules and for lack of safety pro­vi­sions. Yet, they have been a favourite among the tech-savvy pop­u­la­tion world­wide,who find the ride-

TARIQUE AZIZ / CSE

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