RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has written a letter to the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari to make regulations regarding the surge pricing practice of the taxi aggregators like Uber and Ola.
In his letter, Ashwani Mahajan, the co-convener of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, has mentioned that these app-based taxis are making profits out of the surge pricing feature of the companies. He shared screenshots of instances where people had been charged Rs. 2,000 for a six-minute ride in Mumbai. This is plain form of making profits by taxi aggregators like the Ola and the Uber.
He has mentioned that this practice of surge pricing should be penalized by the government itself. Thus he has requested the transport minister to make regulations for this under the Motor Vehicles Act.
He has also mentioned that if the cab companies tend to cancel any particular ride, they should credit about 20% of the estimated fare into the customer’s account as a compensation. It should be noted that if the customer cancels any ride, the cab companies charge a certain amount from the same customer in the next ride as compensation for canceling the last ride for reason whatsoever.
The SJM has also requested that there should be a provision of a proper customer support system introduced by these apps based taxis so that in cases of emergency the customers can speak to the customer support facility.
The guidelines which were issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in 2016 allowed surge pricing to the extent of three times the normal fare. SJM wanted the government to avoid this in the new Motor Vehicles Act. He also stated that whatever regulations the Ministry comes up with shall be in public interest as the people are facing a lot of issues regarding the surge pricing and there not being a proper customer support system to register any complaints.