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Stand-off between taxi drivers, Ola cabs at Mangaluru Airport

4:56 PM, Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
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jt RadhakrishnanMangaluru : The alleged harassment of a software professional a few days ago by taxi operators at the Mangaluru International Airport for booking a ride by a transport aggregator through a mobile app has brought to the fore the stand-off between the two.

The taxi drivers have been opposed to Ola cabs picking up passengers from the airport. Since the launch of its services in the city in March, drivers of Ola cabs have reported two instances of being prevented by taxi operators from entering the airport to pick up passengers who have booked their service.

A petition has been filed by the company accusing taxi operators of stopping their entry into the airport. A similar complaint has been made to Mangaluru Airport Director J.T. Radhakrishna. “No one from the transport aggregator has appeared before us at a meeting of the two parties at the police station and also at the airport after filing the compliant. They [transport aggregator] are yet to place before us orders permitting them to operate in the district. The taxi drivers here are raising the issue too,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police Ravi Kumar. Dakshina Kannada District Taximen and Maxicab Association president K. Monappa Bhandary contended that Ola cabs could not operate outside the Mangaluru city limits.

“We are opposing the operation of the Ola cabs in the airport that is beyond city limits,” he said. Afzal Ahmed Khan, Deputy Commissioner of Transport, Mangaluru, said the State government would soon come out with guidelines and restrictions for operation of transport aggregators.

An email sent to the Ola cabs seeking their response on the issue remained unanswered till the time of going to the press. Meanwhile, the Bajpe police continue to wait for the aggrieved woman passenger and record her statement regarding the alleged harassment by taxi drivers.

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