The Karnataka Transport Department has asked the cab aggregators to stop car-pooling services in the state, starting this Friday, reported ET.

After holding an hour-long meeting with the representatives of aggregators and sections of drivers, Transport Commissioner MK Aiyappa said, “The services are in violation of the Motor Vehicles Act and hence cannot be allowed. The cabs cannot pick up from and drop passengers at multiple locations before closing each trip.”

The aggregators have asked for three days to make changes in the software that powers the app. He conceded the demand and said the transport officials will start booking the violators after the period.

The department’s decision also follows strong protests from the city’s transport utility BMTC. The letter from BMTC managing director Ekroop Caur says revenues have been hit because of carpool offered by aggregators as well as by other private operators. She said, “They are also offering services with fixed schedules on specific routes – for example Hebbal to Marathahalli. That is not allowed at all.”

The cab operators offer their services under the contract carriage licence which requires the operator to pick up passengers from point A and drop at point B and not allow others to board the cab midway. The stage carriage permit, on the other hand, allows the vehicle (bus) to pick up and drop passengers along its scheduled route. BMTC has the exclusive right to pick up and drop a pool of commuters in the city, said HG Kumar, Additional Commissioner for Transport. The permits, he added, are issued under the Motor Vehicles Act which is a Union Government legislation.

Aiyappa agreed that carpool as a concept reduces pollution and decongests the city but to allow that would require changes in the policy. He said, “The state government could permit it in public interest by way of an executive order as provided for under the MV Act. If the aggregators make a representation, we will study it and recommend for appropriate policies to the government.”

The aggregators also have plans to approach the Union Government to amend Motor Vehicle Act.

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