Bike-Taxis Face Potential Ban in Tamil Nadu, Following Delhi's Lead: Report

The Tamil Nadu (TN) government has approached the Madras High Court seeking a ban on bike-taxis, citing safety concerns for commuters, as per a The Times of India report. This development comes against the backdrop of similar actions taken by authorities in New Delhi, as reported by Benzinga earlier.

Background

After the launch of bike taxis by Rapido in Chennai, the state transport department began seizing two-wheelers in July 2019 and requested Google, Apple India, and the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) to remove the app from their platforms. However, Rapido obtained a stay against this in court, leading to the court ordering the transport department to frame rules for regulating bike taxi operations.

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Union Guidelines and State Response

The Union road transport ministry released guidelines to regulate services offered by mobile apps like Ola, Uber, and Rapido. While states were advised to frame their own regulations using these guidelines as a reference, TN has yet to finalise them. Transport Minister S S Sivasankar recently announced the decision not to allow bike-taxis, leading to the department’s appeal against the earlier court order.

Delhi’s Stance on Bike-Taxis

In a similar vein, New Delhi city authorities have warned bike taxi companies like Uber and Ola that they will begin seizing their vehicles unless they stop their operations, following a Supreme Court order supporting a ban on these services. The city government holds that bike taxis breach local city laws by operating without the necessary license.

Current Status

The transport commissionerate has informed the court that a proposal on aggregator guidelines was sent to the government in March, and a final decision is expected soon. The court has adjourned the case for four weeks, following the Supreme Court’s recent ban on bike-taxis in Delhi. Some states like Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka (only electric vehicles), and Madhya Pradesh have approved bike-taxis.

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