Our Response to Delhi Transport Ministry
DIRECTORATE OF INFORMATION & PUBLICITY
GOVERNMENT OF NCT OF DELHI
TRANSPORT MINISTER OF DELHI MR GOPAL RAI HAS ISSUED THE FOLLOWING THE STATEMENT ON FRIDAY:
New Delhi: 05/06/2015
Delhi government wants to set the record straight on the issue of App-based taxi services in the national capital, since an impression is being created as if the state government has taken some fresh decision. It is regretted that companies like Uber and Ola are misleading poor taxi drivers and the general public of the national capital. Delhi government makes it absolutely clear that it is not against any kind of business and will follow best practices to promote the interests of commuters, but will not compromise with women safety.
Unfortunately, the conduct of these companies so far does not inspire confidence and I have no hesitation in publicly stating that they have indulged in cheating the trust of Delhi government and the residents of the national capital. It is a known fact that following an incident of alleged rape in a moving taxi on December 6 last year, services of Uber and other App based taxi services were banned in Delhi, when the national capital was under President’s Rule.
It was challenged in the Delhi High Court, which directed the transport department to hear the plea of Uber company, but the department kept its decision unchanged. After the formation of the new government on February 14 this year, the matter was brought to my notice and I wrote to the central government seeking effective implementation of the ban, through the department of Information Technology (IT).Certain difficulties were pointed out, since it came to light that the server of this App-based service was not in India.
In the meanwhile, Delhi government kept its negotiations on when various taxi services and as late as May 28, I met different taxi operators, including the representatives of Ola and Uber companies. Delhi government told them that their pending applications for fresh licences will be considered if they agree to adhere to the existing ban on them, furnish the data of drivers and their vehicles within a week and give an undertaking that they will comply with safety regulations, particularly for women commuters.
It is extremely surprising that despite agreeing in the meeting, these companies did not furnish the data within the time limit agree to by them. It was due to this, that their pending applications for fresh licences was rejected. It is beyond any reasonable understanding as to why companies are unwilling to share their data ? Do they have anything to hide ?
I have met drivers associations over the last two days and they have told me that they have submitted all their details with the offices of these companies located at Gurgaon. Then why are these companies hesitant to share the data with the transport department. In case these companies have nothing to hide, they should come clean and submit the required data and comply with stipulated safety guidelines.
We made a full and complete application for a radio taxi license in January along with all driver details that are required as per the application process.
The request for additional data by the honourable minister was verbal and not a part of any licensing process. No specifics on the content or format of such information were provided to us. Even as of today, there remains no formal communication. All personal information of drivers and riders are protected by the fundamental right to privacy. Given this, we are required to treat this data with utmost caution and diligence.
After a detailed discussion with the Ministry, Uber has yesterday complied with the Minister’s request for data in a good faith belief that we are required by law to do so. We have provided details of all driver–partners and vehicles operating on the Uber platform in Delhi. The safety of citizens is paramount and we firmly believe we have gone above and beyond government and industry requirements to make transportation in our nation’s capital safer, especially for women.
In the meanwhile, thousands of driver livelihoods are being adversely affected, and hundreds of thousands of commuters are unable to get convenient and reliable transportation around the NCR region. We humbly appeal to the government to resume constructive dialogue towards an amicable resolution of this issue; moving towards a safer Delhi which puts the interest of its citizens first.
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