Amid the boycott in Guwahati, the cabs will be available through apps like PeIndia and An2 Cabs instead of Ola and Uber.
With the world moving so fast, transportation in India particularly has always been a major issue. Even though the nation is developing with the metro becoming a part of everyone’s lives, there are still some cities that are deprived of this public transport. In such cases, the entry of cab services like Ola, Uber, and Rapido has changed the game in the transportation scenario. With a cab, auto, or even a bike just one tap away, these online vehicle booking platforms hold a great grip on the market.
However, while these online platforms have enabled people to book a vehicle according to their requirements anytime, anywhere within a budget, there are certain parameters where these apps are still lagging behind. While many people have faced various issues while travelling through the cab services of the platform, it seems that the customers are not the only ones suffering.
The entry of cab services like Ola, Uber, and Rapido has changed the game in the transportation scenario.
Recently, The All-Assam Cab Mazdoor Sangha, which represents thousands of cab drivers, has chosen to boycott Ola and Uber in Guwahati starting in February. The services by the aggregators will no longer be offered by about 18,000 taxi drivers and 16,000 Rapido bike riders. However, Pei India and AM2, which are two local taxi companies that will be operating in the city, nevertheless.
The judgement took effect due to the persistent harassment of the cab drivers in the area by these aggregators. All Assam Cab Mazdoor Sangha and All Guwahati Bike and Taxi Union were responsible for the action. The two associations decided to stop offering the services in response to cab aggregators’ ongoing harassment of cab drivers.
Providing some details on the issue, Jyotish Deka, the general secretary of the All-Assam Cab Mazdoor Sangha mentioned that 2015 marked the operational beginning of Ola and Uber in Assam. After providing considerably good incentives to the cab drivers in the initial year, harassment complaints were witnessed afterwards. Also, a commission of almost 40-60% was charged per trip from every driver, which is evidently unreasonable.
In addition to this, the aggregators are charging a dynamic price as commission, if paid, the drivers won’t get anything for themselves. With 18-20 hours of work, instalments to pay to banks and finance companies, maintenance of the vehicle, and loans, the boycott by the drivers came as a result of their helplessness.
After providing considerably good incentives to the cab drivers in the initial year, harassment complaints were witnessed afterwards.
Amid all this chaos around the protests, a request has been made to the government by the drivers to come up with new app services to make the functioning of the services smoother. After months of legal wrangling with the state government in the Bombay high court over the failure to provide vital information, including the absence of an operating licence, Rapido announced last month that it will cease all of its bike-taxi services in Maharashtra.
The main demand by All-Assam Cab Mazdoor Sangha is that the aggregators should provide the drivers with access to social security benefits. The general secretary also pointed out that cab aggregators had not supplied the drivers with health insurance or provident funds as required by the Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines 2020. Customers can still use ride-hailing services in Guwahati from two local taxi companies, Pei India and AM2. According to Ola, its services are operating without a hitch because most of its partners are not participating in the boycott.