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Delhi govt bans surge pricing by taxi aggregators; Ola offers free shuttle rides in Delhi-NCR

India TV News Desk 20 Apr 2016, 17:22:40 IST
India TV News Desk

New Delhi: Taking cue from Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal reprimanding taxi aggregating companies for over-charging passengers, terming it as a daylight blackmailing on the roads of Delhi, the government, the government today said the decision to ban surge pricing will be made permanent.

Yes. We will do it https://t.co/0BHJISqdse

— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 20, 2016


Today on tweets, Kejriwal said that the Delhi government is ready to take action against these operators introduced for the fort-night long “Odd-Even” scheme.

Delhi CM said that the ban on surge pricing will be made permanent, a decision his government later announced.

The odd-even scheme which aims at reducing the air pollution in the capital will continue till April 30.

Though the scheme was started last week, commuters started complaining about the price surging by the taxi operator on the first very first working day of the week.

Surge pricing is daylight robbery. No responsible govt can allow that(1/2)

— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 20, 2016

In a series of his tweets, Kejriwal termed the surge-pricing a daylight robbery and tweeted that “a responsible government will not allow any company to blackmail its users.”

Some taxis saying they will not provide cab if they are not allowed to loot. This is open blackmailing n govt will not let that happen(2/2)

— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 20, 2016

“Some taxi operators are saying they will not provide cab if they are not allowed to loot,” added Delhi CM.

However, facing severe criticism from Delhi government, taxi aggregator Ola today said it will offer free rides for its 'Shuttle' bus service on April 22 and 29, under the second phase of odd-even scheme.

Overcharging, diesel cars, drivers without license/badges n blackmailing by taxi aggregators won't be allwed(2/2)

— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 20, 2016

This comes days after the company temporarily suspended surge pricing after the state government threatened to cancel permits for charging higher than prescribed fares.

Read Also: Uber suspends surge pricing, says availability of cabs will be hit

"While tens of thousands of people are using Ola Shuttle on a daily basis, we would like to extend this service free of cost on select days for citizens, in our support of vehicle rationing scheme and contribute to the shared vision of a greener and cleaner Delhi," Ola Vice President New Initiatives Sundeep Sahni said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Having suspended surge pricing in the Delhi-NCR region following a crackdown by the Delhi High Court and the government, taxi aggregator Uber informed its users that its cabs may not be available as easily as earlier in wake of the fresh development.

“Dear Rider, if you're seeing no cars available or longer wait time, that's because of suspension of surge. Surge ensures there's a car available at all times. While we're working hard on getting more cars out on the road, please switch to uberPOOL & help us utilise the existing cars better. Bear with us,” Uber said in a message to its users today.

To deal with the current situation, Uber today urged the customers to switch to UberPOOL, an online service by Uber that provides car pooling facility.

Uber says it uses an algorithm to decide charges based on the availability of cars and the number of people seeking a ride.

The higher the demand is, higher the fare. The company justifies this algorithm saying it helps it maximise the number of rides.

The Delhi govt cracked its whip on Monday against the app-based taxi services by impounding 18 cabs of Ola and Uber for charging fares more than the prescribed rates during the odd-even car rationing period.

The move followed a stern rap from the Delhi High Court seeking the government’s reply on the action it had initiated against those who violated the prescribed norms.

“When people are made to suffer the government cannot wash its hands and fail to take action. Government cannot be helpless,” Justice J R Midha noted.

(With PTI inputs)