The Maharashtra government has banned the use of non-transport vehicles for ride-pooling and aggregation services in the state citing the safety and security of passengers.
According to the state government resolution, non-transport vehicles including two-wheelers, three-wheelers and four-wheelers are banned for ride pooling and aggregation "to ensure road safety of the general public and passengers at large”.
Non-transport vehicles, ones with white number plates, aren’t allowed to be used for commercial purposes. As of now, only a handful of aggregators were providing app-based bike, auto and car taxi services in the cities of Maharashtra.
Some of them provide mobile application-based aggregator service using vehicles, especially two-wheelers, which were registered under the non-transport category.
The state government’s this action came after the Bombay High Court, on January 13, 2023, pulled up bike-taxi aggregator Rapido for operating without obtaining a licence from the state and ordered it to suspend the services immediately. Rapido has moved the Supreme Court against the HC order.
The government resolution stated that the use of non-transport vehicles as commercial vehicles is increasing enormously, thus “raises serious practical and security concerns of the passengers and “may cause serious threat to the road safety of the general public and passengers”.
The Maharashtra government also expressed concerns about plying of non-transport vehicles that are registered outside the state affecting the economic viability of the vehicles operating with valid permits in the state.
“The number of vehicles registered in the non-transport category is very large, therefore the non-transport vehicles registered outside the state of Maharashtra may also be used for vehicle aggregation and may affect the economic viability of the vehicles operating on valid permits in the State of Maharashtra,” the GR reads.
The government resolution, while stating that if non-transport vehicles can be permitted to be used as transport vehicles for aggregation and ride pooling, said that it will require a “detailed consideration regarding terms and conditions, framework and guidelines”. The government has also constituted a committee to study the related issues and to give recommendations.
(With inputs from PTI)
(Edited by : Vivek Dubey)