Cabbies allege app-based services a security threat

  • TSCBOA submits memo to DGP, seeks regulatory steps

Hyderabad: The Telangana State Cabs and Bus Operators Association (TSCBOA) has urged Director General of Police Anurag Sharma to initiate measures to regulate the app-based operators in the city as they pose a serious threat to the safety and security of both drivers and the society.

TSCBOA president Syed Nizamuddin submitted a memorandum to this effect to the DGP at State Police Headquarters here on Saturday. He stated, “Thousands of drivers were working with app-based aggregators like Ola and Uber, who accept online bookings through their mobile apps and assign the booking to the drivers based at nearest locations. Although this system looks simple and user-friendly, it poses a serious threat to the nation’s security. The aggregators have no mechanism to check the veracity of passenger, who is booking a cab. Any person with a mobile phone can download the app giving fake details and he/she could hire a cab. He could be a terrorist, extremist or member of any banned organisation or any criminal,” he added. 

Nizamuddin said once the booking is confirmed, the driver is bound to pick that passenger from the specified location and drop him at his destination without asking any questions. But this process has the potential to create serious disturbances in the society. Anti-social elements, criminals or terrorists can use this service to get easy transportation or to carry weapons, drugs or other banned material from one place to another. If anything goes wrong, the drivers will face the wrath of law and their vehicles will get seized. Except for giving bookings and taking their commissions, the aggregators do not own responsibility for anything that happens to the driver or cab during or after the travel, he added.

The TSCBOA president pointed out that a driver, Bhashya Ramavath, was attacked and robbed by the ‘passengers’ who made the booking through Ola Cabs on October 8. In the second incident, an Uber driver was attacked by a passenger under Kachiguda Police Station limits on August 25 when he refused to carry a patient and advised the family members to hire an ambulance. In another case, a woman passenger, who made the booking under “Sharing Cab” lodged a fake complaint against the driver when he refused to divert from the designated route. None of the Ola or Uber managements responded and contended that their role was confined to giving bookings, he said.

On the instructions of the DGP, the TSCBOA leaders later submitted a copy of their memorandum to Additional Commissioner (Traffic) Jithender and Transport Commissioner Sandeep Kumar Sultania.

-NSS

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