Citizens' Issues
Karnataka government seizes 62 Uber two-wheeler taxis
Bengaluru : The Karnataka government on Friday seized 62 two-wheeler taxis belonging to app-based cab aggregator Uber for violating the Motor Vehicles Act and continuing to operate without requisite permission.
 
"We have seized 62 Uber bikes (two-wheeler taxis, uberMOTO) today (Friday) for operating illegally. We will take stern action against them (Uber) in accordance with the Motor Vehicles Act.," Karnataka Transport Commissioner Rame Gowda told IANS.
 
Gowda pointed out that white number plated uberMOTO two-wheelers do not comply with the rules and the drivers also lack a badge which a commercial vehicle driver should have.
 
The transport commissioner clarified that any commercial vehicle must first make an application to the Road Transport Authority (RTA) in their respective district or area to start business operations.
 
He said a committee including the deputy commissioner of a particular district or area as the chairman, RTO as the secretary and SP or DCP as the member will consider the application and deal with it according to the requirement.
 
"Without doing all these things, it is an illegal operation. Everybody should know what they (Uber) are doing, what business they are doing, how they are conducting," said Gowda.
 
"Let them follow the rules, we are not coming in their way. It should be transparent. If anything goes wrong ultimately who is responsible. It is not fair on their (Uber) part," Gowda told IANS.
 
On being asked if there would be any monetary penalty on Uber, Gowda said the court will decide.
 
According to media reports, Uber's rival Ola stopped its version of two-wheeler taxis Ola Bike which was also confirmed by Gowda leading to only Uber two-wheeler taxis being seized on Friday.
 
Despite several attempts by IANS to elicit the reasons for halting the two-wheeler taxi services and whether it received a notice from the government, Ola did not respond.
 
Interestingly, IANS succeeded in booking and cancelling an Uber two-wheeler taxi from the Bengaluru Press Club near Cubbon Park in the heart of the city.
 
The app confirmed a bike taxi to IANS reporter being operated by one Harish using a Bajaj Platina motorcycle to deliver the service.
 
On being asked if Uber informed the driver that the two-wheeler taxi service he is listed for is currently illegal, Harish, the bike driver said: "Uber did not inform me that the service is illegal."
 
He disconnected the call on being questioned further while Uber did not respond to IANS despite several attempts.
 
Uber and Ola launched pilot on-demand two-wheeler taxi services uberMOTO and Ola Bike, respectively, on March 3. Ola Bike later stopped its services and even removed the option to book a bike taxi on its app.
 
uberMOTO's minimum fare is pegged at Rs.15 per km followed by Rs.3 per km and Re.1 per minute of travel.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Wet and miserable: Rain drenches Sri Sri's extravaganza
New Delhi : Heavy rain played spoilsport at Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's controversial mega cultural festival that began on Friday, with thousands of participants stuck on roads due to traffic snarls and pathways leading to the venue on the Yamuna floodplain turning into mush.
 
As the dusty Yamuna floodplain turned to slush, it made walking virtually impossible and vehicles got stuck. Those who were already inside ran for cover to escape the downpour.
 
Organisers wore a look of concern as the skies darkened over Delhi. The dark clouds along with rolling thunder followed by heavy rains left the organisers, participants and the onlookers drenched and miserable.
 
People were seen covering themselves with plastic sheets. Some others took out brightly coloured umbrellas.
 
"It is slippery. The road leading to the venue has turned marshy. I had to walk carefully," said Anuj Kumar, who had come from north Delhi to attend the cultural jamboree.
 
Policemen and volunteers tried to manage the crowd, but could not control the chaos.
 
As per the forecast of two leading weather agencies, the IMD and Skymet Weather Services, the showers on Friday followed by heavy rain may cause disruptions on Saturday and Sunday as well. The World Culture Festival is being held here from March 11 to 13.
 
These agencies told IANS that rain with thundershowers would continue over the weekend.
 
"Tomorrow (Saturday) and the day after that, there are fair chances that it would rain in the early morning, late afternoon and evening, with strong winds and thundershowers. It may spoil the event," said Mahesh Palawat, director of Skymet, India's only private weather forecasting agency. 
 
The event has already landed in controversy for allegedly flouting the environmental regulations and degrading the ecology of the Yamuna floodplain. 
 
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living Foundation informed the authorities that three lakh people would attend the event. However, in its promotional literature, it had claimed that 35 lakh people would come from 155 countries.
 
The organisers had told the National Green Tribunal that they had spent Rs.25.63 crore for the event. 
 
Traffic snarls also caused hardships to those who had to catch their trains from Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station, which is not very far from the event venue adjoining the busy Delhi-Noida flyway. Many train travellers had to walk more than three kilometres carrying their luggages on their shoulders. 
 
"I had to walk to catch my train to Mumbai and had a tough time because I was not aware that the road to Nizamuddin railway station will be choked," said Sachin Balakrishnan from Mayur Vihar.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Delhi likely to witness traffic mess
New Delhi : The national capital, which is hosting two major cultural events and at least 20,000 weddings between March 11-13, is likely to face huge traffic snarls.
 
The Art of Living (AoL) is holding its World Culture Festival at the Yamuna flood plains near DDA Land, Yamuna Bank between Mayur Vihar Phase-I Metro Station on the Noida link Road and the DND Flyway opposite ISBT Sarai Kale Khan in southeast Delhi. 
 
The event is expected to attract 3-4 lakh people. 
 
The Radha Soami Satsang Beas is also holding a programme in the Bhatti Complex on Bhatti Mines Road in south Delhi, which is expected to witness a public gathering of around 3-4 lakh people.
 
The traffic department advised people to avoid these areas and urged them to move with sufficient time keeping in mind the anticipated congestion on these roads.
 
In addition to that, the NCR region is also set to witness around 20,000 weddings, which may add to the congestion.
 
"We are not sure about the numbers of weddings planned. The numbers could be 25,000 or 20,000. This would however add to the traffic situation in Delhi," said Sharad Agarwal, Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic.
 
For the AoL event, the traffic department said in its advisory that there are chances of a slow down and traffic congestion on Ring Road, Delhi-Noida Direct flyway, Noida link road and on NH 24 between Nizamuddin Khatta (landfill) up to Gazipur border.
 
All commercial vehicles might be restricted on Ring Road between Wazirabad flyover and Ashram Chowk. 
 
The traffic department also planned diversions at certain points. These include a compulsory diversion towards DND on Sector 15 Noida and compulsory right turn towards ISBT from Gazipur Chowk.
 
According to the traffic department, there will be no traffic from Akshardham flyover loop towards Noida link road side. From Nizamuddin Khatta, traffic will go straight on NH-24 and no left turn on loop towards Noida link road will be allowed. 
 
There will be no movement towards DND from Ashram Chowk. Left turn towards Neela Gumbad and right turn towards Okhla Mor from Ashram Chowk will also not be allowed, the traffic advisory says.
 
For the Radha Soami Satsang Beas event, the traffic department warned of heavy traffic and congestion on the Mehrauli-Gurgaon road, Mehrauli-Badarpur road, Aurobindo Marg, Bhatti Mines road and 100 Foota road. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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