No app-based cabs on Delhi roads today?

The angry Ola and Uber drivers allegedly even stopped other privately owned taxies and pulled out passengers to make the strike successful. And the situation may get worse in the coming few days.

The radio cab service in the Delhi-NCR came to a standstill today as the cab drivers staged protest against the app-based service giants Ola and Uber at Jantar Mantar. Rajender Soni, general secretary of the Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union, said, "No black and yellow cabs and no autorickshaws will participate in the strike".

The strike called by the driver association has in Delhi and NCR from Friday also demand accident insurance after a recent road accident saw the death of a Uber driver partner. "Otherwise, we do not get any payment", said Hira Singh, a Uber driver. They are running nothing short of a slave business.

"400 of them are staging a dharna at Jantar Mantar while some of them in their respective areas", Ravi Rathore, vice president of the Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi, said.

There are about 150,000 drivers associated with Uber and Ola in Delhi.

The protest led to a massive crunch of cabs in the city due leading to surge pricing for every ride.

"I took a Meru cab from sector 21 market (Gurugram) to go to my sector 34 office".

They also said that the traffic was not disturbed, and did not cause any inconvenience to common commuters. Stuck for 30mts at Vasant Kunj.

Members of Sarvodaya Driver Association (SDA), an association of cab drivers that organised Friday's protests and claims to have over 2,000 drivers registered with it, said that they were demanding the bare minimum from the aggregators and the government. We have bought expensive cars on loans and also have to pay 25% as commission to these cab companies. We are demanding that we receive the fare sanctioned by the government which is Rs 21/km. Two members of the association have even gone on a hunger strike. Ola declined to comment.

In an email response, an Uber spokesperson said, "A small group of people are disrupting the Uber service in parts of Delhi, and there have been isolated reports of threats and intimidation". We are working hard to ensure reliable rides are available for everyone and we can keep the city moving.

"Across India, since the launch of uberPOOL in December 2015, we have saved over 32 million kilometres travelled, over 1.5 million litres of fuel and cut over 3.5 million kgs Carbon dioxide emissions", said an Uber India spokesperson.

  • Arturo Norris