In light of the increasing apprehensions voiced by the citizens, State Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy provided assurance to the public concerning the decision to ban app-based carpooling services in Bengaluru.
He emphasised that carpooling itself is not prohibited; however, it is essential to secure legal permission for its operation, reports Hindustan Times.
Reddy stated that the government does not have any issue with carpooling among employees or known passengers.
However, if carpooling is intended to be operated as a commercial service, permission from the government is required.
In a meeting held on Tuesday, the transport minister listened to the concerns and demands of carpooling aggregators. The minister has requested a period of 10 days to consider the demands and make a decision.
The minister’s statement comes amid citizens voicing their opinions against the move, claiming that alternatives such as carpooling reduces transport cost and helps combat traffic congestion.
After the decision was reported, BJP leader Tejasvi Surya, criticised the government for their lack of understanding of the concept of carpooling.
He pointed out that the government's decision to permit carpooling only in yellow-board commercial vehicles and not in private white-board vehicles shows a misunderstanding of the very essence of carpooling.
The ban on app-based carpooling services in Bengaluru was announced by the Karnataka transport department on 30 September.
As per reports, this decision came as a response to numerous complaints raised by cab operators. Further, the department instructed officials in various areas of the city to take legal action including a fine between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000.
The transport minister in his statement emphasised the government's support for carpooling as it helps alleviate traffic congestion, benefits the environment, and is cost-effective for commuters.
However, the minister also stressed the importance of obtaining necessary permissions from the government in order to operate legally within the state capital.
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