App-based cab aggregator Ola cannot run taxis and autos in Karnataka for the next six months, the state transport department has said in a notification. The licence has been suspended for "operating bike taxis" without permission, which were already banned in the state since the last one year.
"Karnataka transport department has suspended the license of Ola Cabs across the state for six months. Licence has been cancelled for operating bike taxis without permission and not replying to the notices of transport department," the transport department said in the notice issued in Kannadda on March 18.
The notification came to the light today as the cab-aggregator issued a statement on the suspension of license saying it is "evaluating the options to find an amicable solution wherein hundreds of thousands of driver-partners in the state of Karnataka can continue to work and serve the mobility needs of our citizens."
In January, Ola started running bike taxis in certain pockets of Bengaluru - but the cab aggregator says this was purely a "beta pilot" project in a bid to gather data for when the state's policy allowed bike taxis.
A showcause notice was then issued by the state to which Ola responded, requesting permission for a four-month pilot project. Ola said the services were by stopped February-end.
Right now, there is no two-wheeler taxi policy in Karnataka.
Calling the notification "unfortunate", the company today said it is working closely with the authorities on the issue. "Ola is a law-abiding company that has always worked with the Government to develop livelihoods, improve mobility, and enable a new technology industry," the statement read.
"Despite other companies continuing to operate illegally, Ola halted our bike taxi experiment weeks ago, instead seeking the state's cooperation to develop a legal framework for a pilot that will continue to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the mobility economy," it said.