Cab rape fall out: Crackdown on illegal taxi services begins

Hyderabad: The Telangana Transport Department today started a crackdown on taxi/cab services operating "illegally" in Hyderabad and Cyberabad Police Commissionerate limits in the wake of a woman being allegedly raped by an Uber cab driver in Delhi.

"A thorough verification process is underway to check documents (proper licenses/permits) of cabs/taxis, if they are running their services as per rules and if they have registered with Transport Department or not," Hyderabad Joint Transport Commissioner T Raghunath told PTI.

So, far 35 cases have been registered and seven vehicles have been seized during the drive launched in Hyderabad and Cyberabad Police Commissionerate limits in association with police, the senior Transport official said.

In the light of Delhi incident, all the enforcement staff of the Transport Department were directed to check the "unauthorised" practices of the private operators, including Uber, the official said adding "we are screening the cabs/taxis drivers on whether they are operating legally or not. We are also checking if the cabs/taxis are putting up the illuminated display board on such vehicles."

"Teams have been pressed into action to check if the travel companies are complying rules." Over 500 travel companies have registered with Transport Department in Hyderabad and they are operating 25,000 cabs/taxis in Hyderabad and 20,000 in neighbouring Ranga Reddy district (covered by Cyberabad Police Commissionerate), he said.

"The enforcement will continue and we will focus on all kinds of private carriers, including buses and autos," Raghunath added. The Telangana Transport Department has already announced that no permission was granted to Uber taxi services to operate in the state, he said. People, including cab owners and drivers, were advised not to be associated with Uber company in any form.

Citing a message from the Centre, the Telangana Transport Department said a criminal case has been reported against the permit holder of a vehicle associated with Uber company. "In these circumstances, the public including the taxi, cab owners/drivers are informed not to be associated with Uber Company in any form. No permission has been granted to Uber Company by Transport Department of Telangana government," the Transport department had said.

"Public are requested not to hire any transport services through Uber company in any form, including web-based mobile applications keeping in view the safety and security," it said. It further stated, "It has come to the notice of Transport Department that certain cab operators are providing taxi/cab services without obtaining proper licenses/permits from the competent authority."

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