Lack of regulation of app-based private cab aggregators in the national capital has left both cab drivers and commuters at the mercy of these cab operators who are exploiting the cab drivers and over-charging commuters.
While commuters have been complaining about the abrupt peak or surge pricing by app-based cab aggregators without any explanation or transparency in their policy, drivers have been complaining about the lack of incentives and difficult working hours. Payel Singh, a regular commuter who uses one of the app-based private cab services in Delhi, said that she often has to shell out double the price for her travel as cab operators charge on their whims and fancies.
Singh said, “Although these app-based cab services have made life easier, they have started over-charging their consumers. Now that they have actually made us dependent on their services due to the convenience factor, their charges have gone through the roof. We end up paying nothing less than Rs 18-22 per km with these cabs. With no regulation in place, they charge large sums of money, but this practice has gone unchecked.”
Priyank Mehta, another commuter, said: “On 2 October, I had booked an Uber for just 3 km, but ended up paying Rs 100 for the trip, which works out to over Rs 32 per km. This is in clear violation of the Delhi government’s present fare structure rules. However, no action is taken against such errant companies because there is no law to prosecute them. They keep charging on the basis of their own fare metre. The government needs to step in to check such misuse of services.”
Not just consumers, but even drivers have complained about the ill-treatment meted out to them by these “big foreign” companies, who make them work for 12 to 14 hours a day without any incentives. The drivers also have to suffer due to huge cuts in commission from their fares.
Dheeraj, a regular driver with Uber, told this correspondent that they are being exploited and have been cheated both by the government and private cab operators. “We work for nothing less than 14 hours a day to make some extra money, because these companies have started charging a hefty commission from us. Earlier, they used to pay us incentives for driving with them, but now, they are charging us money. At the end of the day, after paying our EMIs for the car and commission and fuel cost, we are left with little money to take back home.” Dheeraj said. Last year, the Delhi government had promised to bring out a regulation for these app-based private cab aggregators, but nothing seems to have moved forward on this front. Calls and messages to Delhi government spokesperson and Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot yielded no response.