Karnataka's Transport Department has issued notices to cab-aggregator Ola asking them to stop operations as they have not renewed their aggregator license which expired in June. Hemantha Kumara, Additional Commissioner, Transport Department, told The Hindu that the license to provide taxi services was issued in 2016 and that it had expired on June 19 2021. He said that notices were issued to Ola to stop their operations in Karnataka.
Ola executives told CNBC-TV18 that they have time till September to apply for the renewal of their license as per a notice issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH). Ola has reportedly filed for a license renewal in July but it is still unclear if the Karnataka Transport Department will impose a penalty on Ola for the delay in renewing the license.
This is not the first time Ola has landed itself in trouble with the Karnataka Transport Department. In March 2019, the department suspended Ola's license for providing bike taxi services without a license. Following this, senior Ola executives arranged a meeting with then Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and the suspension was revoked within a few days.
The developments this week come days after the Karnataka Transport Department raided the Bengaluru offices of Ola and Uber, on July 16 and July 17. Officials said the raids were carried out because of non-compliance by the companies and that they had not furnished quarterly reports about their fleet size, partner driver numbers, and other related information to the department.
Uber, Ola and other aggregators are currently bound by the Karnataka On-Demand Transportation Technology Aggregators Rules.