50 more taxis seized in Delhi, ‘surge pricing’ may go 

New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) Authorities in Delhi have impounded 50 more taxis for over-charging customers as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hinted on Wednesday that “surge pricing” by cabs may face the axe forever.

“We have impounded 50 more taxis following complaints from customers. All the taxis belong to various app based cab aggregators,” a Delhi government official told IANS.

He said 35 of the 50 taxis were registered outside Delhi.

The Delhi government had on Monday seized 18 taxis belonging to Ola and Uber for over-charging commuters, taking advantage of a leap in demand for taxis during the ongoing odd-even traffic scheme.

Kejriwal has threatened “strict action” over “surge pricing”, a technique used by the cab aggregators to hike fares in the event of high demand.

After app-based cab operator Uber blamed the Delhi government for taxi shortage, Kejriwal clarified that his government was not opposed to online aggregators but insisted they obey the law.

“We are not against taxi aggregators. We fully support them. They provide important service to people. But they will have to follow (the) law.

“Overcharging, diesel cars, drivers without license/badges and blackmailing by taxi aggregators won’t be allowed,” the chief minister tweeted.

He alleged that one of the media houses supporting “surge pricing” had Rs.150 crore investment in one of these taxi aggregators. He did not name any media house.

The demand for taxis has shot up in the capital on account of the odd-even traffic scheme that commenced on April 15 and will run till April 30.

Restrictions on diesel and petrol driven cars during the ongoing scheme has forced thousands of motorists to go for taxis to commute.

Kejriwal has termed the surge pricing as “daylight robbery” and blamed the companies for “openly blackmailing” the Delhi government.

“Surge pricing is daylight robbery. No responsible government can allow that.

“Some taxis saying they will not provide cab if they are not allowed to loot. This is open blackmailing (and) government will not let that happen,” he said.

After a Poonam Pandey wrote to Kejriwal on his Twitter account that the suspension of surge pricing should continue even after the odd-even system ends on April 30, Kejriwal replied: “Yes. We will do it.”

After Kejriwal’s statement on Monday, Uber and Ola suspended surge pricing.

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