Mangaluru: The Dakshina Kannada Taximen’s and Maxi Cab Association staged a protest in front of the DC’s office here, on July 3.
Prior to the protest, a protest march was held from Ambedkar Circle, Jyothi culminating at the DC office.
Addressing the protesters, President of the association Monappa Bhandary said, “We had decided to stage a protest on May 14, and in this regard, we had also met the Commissioner and submitted a memorandum regarding the Ola Cab which has been creating problems for the Dakshina Kannada taxi owners. They cheat people and sometimes abuse women passengers which is known to all. The Commissioner had then assured to do justice, but until now, nothing has been done in this regard. We have submitted a memorandum to the RTO, the Deputy Commissioner and the Police Commissioner but they have not take any action against the Ola company. Instead, they are indirectly supporting them.”
He further said that taxi drivers take loan, pay taxes and run their taxis, whereas the Ola taxis do not pay any tax. They run through apps and help centres. and do not even have any office in the state. “Here, the taxi owners pay the tax promptly but the state government is cheating us by allowing the Ola company to operate.”
“Now the diesel price has also been hiked. I think some black money holders are converting their black money by investing in the Ola company. Ministers, MLAs and leaders may also have shares in the Ola company. Ola taxi drivers had recently abused a woman in their taxi. We need justice. Ola taxis should be banned from running in the district. If the government does good to the people, it will succeed. If they play with the lives of poor people and the farmers, they will face severe consequences,” Bhandary warned.
President of State Lorry Owners and Agents Association, G R Shanmugappa said that the Ola company is fooling taxi drivers by assuring them more income. “They take Rs 10,000 from the taxi driver and allow them to run their taxis under the Ola company banner without any license and without following any rules. The government does not have any control over the Ola company. Whereas there are many restrictions and rules for the taxi owners/drivers to follow. Ola treats the drivers as their slaves. If anything goes wrong, they do not support them. Drivers should protect themselves when they work for Ola company.” He said that Ola should stop operating in Mangaluru.
President of State Tourist Vehicles Owners Association Ravindra, General Secretary K Radhakrishna Holla, members of the Mangalore Travel Agents Association and many taxi drivers were also present.