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Uber restarts operations in Delhi, applies for license

US-based taxi hailing service Uber has applied for a license under the amended Radio Taxi legislation in Delhi on Thursday after it was banned from operating in the capital a month ago.

Once the Delhi transport authorities give a go-ahead to the firm, it can restart its operations, which have been suspended since December.

Uber has applied for a license despite the fact that several clauses of the amended legislation go against its business model. The company will have to tweak its functioning significantly in order to be complaint. 

In a statement, Uber told Business Standard that it has applied for a license under the Radio Taxi Scheme, “to reflect our commitment to providing riders with new options for safe and reliable transportation, including the ability to request a Radio Taxi on-demand.”

Meanwhile, the company said it continues to engage with the relevant authorities in Delhi to work towards regulations that better suit its business model. 

Recently, Bidhannagar City Police, in Kolkatta introduced new regulations for on-demand transportation technology aggregators classifying such companies under the Information Technology Act instead of the Motor Vehicle Act. 

“We believe this is the progressive model that ultimately puts the safety of consumers first, while recognizing the power of new technologies like Uber that will make city transportation safer.”

The development is expected to provide a sigh of relief to Uber’s huge network of drivers whose livelihood was at stake due to the suspended operations. However, the company has not stated how it plans to meet the various requirements of the new legislations such as having a Radio Taxi board on the top of each vehicle along with having the name of the company written on both sides of the vehicle. These are difficult conditions to meet since Uber does not own the fleet of cars under its network.

Under a Supreme Court mandate, all public vehicles plying on Delhi roads have to run on Clean fuel or Compressed Natural Gas, which is considered as a major impediment to the expansion plans of Uber and its likes. However, according to officials in the know, taxi aggregators are expected to subsidise taxi companies to install CNG kits in their vehicles.

TaxiForSure, which was also banned from operating in Delhi, has also applied for a license under the amended regulations that facilitated aggregators to operate legally in the country.

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