Wrong number plate registrations are leading to suspicions among many travelers, especially women.
Bengaluru: A few autos providing services for online cab companies like Uber and Ola are showing different number plates than what appears on the app. This makes many customers uncomfortable, especially while travelling alone or during the night. P. Nayantara Nayar, student of Kristu Jayanti College said, “I book auto by Ola but sometimes it gets really suspicious when the number in the app turns out to be different to when it arrives on the spot. Once I had to roam a lot and when an auto driver came to me asking if I booked it, I got really scared and ended up cancelling it.”
As per Ola’s Driver Community Rules, a driver must adhere to all rules, ensuring that registrations are up to date. Driver competency and reporting requirements ask them to have a valid registration which they use to conduct rideshare services. If not, the company can suspend or terminate them.
The issue is happening with those auto drivers who lost their autos during the Covid-19 pandemic. Abhishek, who drives for both Ola and Uber said, “My daily earnings were lost during pandemic due to which I couldn’t pay EMI and they took my auto two times forcing me to get a new one.” Registration becomes an additional burden since they need to travel to Indiranagar where the cab companies have their office to update it. But it becomes tough, especially when they have to make up for the losses they have incurred during pandemic.
Raghu, another auto driver said, “They have opened up their offices in new places which makes the job tough for us. During Covid also their offices were closed so we could not go register and it is only since two months that they have opened it.”
Regional Transport Authority talks about strict action which needs to be taken against these auto drivers once their numbers are known to them. But the number of such vehicles on hire is unclear because the companies have not received any complaints.
Traffic advisor and Infrastructure consultant, Prof. M.N. Sreehari talks about how the issue can pose a great problem because the cab drivers are not answerable to anyone if they haven’t registered. He said, “For two-three days you can do that job of cheating somebody but it’s not a permanent solution. It may have happened for a temporary time but they should rectify it as soon as possible.”
The cab aggregator turning a blind eye towards it leads to major confusion while availing their services.