Defiant Uber takes on Arvind Kejriwal, will continue surge pricing

The interior of the office of ride-hailing service Uber is seen in this picture in Gurugram
Defying Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s diktat to taxi cab aggregators of not bringing back surge pricing, Uber continued to have taxis running with peak pricing on. 

Ola, however, maintained that they have not yet switched on surge pricing. However, customers of the Bengaluru-based cab aggregator also found Ola taxis missing in the 

morning. The “no cab available” sign was a fixture for many hours across Ola, Uber and even Meru. Sources in the state government said that while the next plan of action is being decided, it is certain that action would be taken against erring cab aggregators.

Read more from our special coverage on "UBER"

For more than 15 days now, the Delhi CM and cab aggregators have had a tussle over surge pricing. The Kejriwal government has even come out with full page advertorials in national dailies claiming how it stopped Uber and Ola from committing ‘daylight robbery’ via surge pricing.

Kejriwal in a tweet on micro-blogging website Twitter warned strong action against cab aggregators if they bring back surge pricing. “Some taxis have started charging surge. 

Surge not allowed under law. They r (sic) warned that strong action will be taken against them,” Kejriwal tweeted.

Cab aggregators are, however, wondering under what sections the government can book them for surge pricing. “As far as we know, there are no sections under which they can book us for surge pricing. Now that odd-even rule is over we should be allowed to get back to normal business. We will see if they impound our cabs, then what sections can they book us under,” said a senior official at a cab aggregator.

They are also waiting for the cab aggregator scheme to be out which the Delhi government has said might be introduced in the next 10 days. “We agree we do not have a license to run in the capital but we would only register under the upcoming cab aggregator policy. The government should understand our situation as well,” added the official.

After the city government last month told the high court that cab aggregators Ola and Uber were operating "illegally" and assured action was being taken by its transport department, sources in these companies said that they would only apply for licence after the government comes out with its proposed cab aggregator scheme.

The past few weeks have been rough for both companies, dodging fire from almost all corners.

From the Karnataka government putting a cap on their 'surge' pricing to the Delhi chief minister banning it completely and impounding vehicles on the platform, the two companies have been left gasping.

The Delhi government wanted these two aggregators to register under its radio taxi scheme, which these companies have not agreed to. They have categorically said they would wait for the state transport ministry to come out with the cab aggregator scheme.

Sources in the Delhi government as well as the State Transport Department, however, said that they would take action against cabs via random checks to see if the cabs are running on peak prices as well as act on complaints of the individuals.

“The Chief Minister has made it clear that action would be taken. We will have further discussions and will decide what would be out next plan of action,” said a senior official of the transport department.

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