Ola, Uber to start Cab services in Jammu-Kashmir

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Jammu , 31 Aug (CNI) : Finally, Ola and Uber type cab services are all set to be available in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir as Government has notified Motor Vehicle Aggregator Rules, 2023 as per the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines, 2020 issued by the Union Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways.

Vide Notification dated July 4, 2023 the draft Jammu and Kashmir Motor Vehicle Aggregator Rules, 2023 were published as required in terms of Sub-Section 1 of Section 212 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 for inviting objections and suggestions from all the persons likely to be affected.

Now, after considering the objections and suggestions received from the public/stakeholders, the Transport Department has notified J&K Motor Vehicle Aggregator Rules, 2023 and the same are applicable with immediate effect.

“These rules are applicable to aggregators on-boarding transport vehicles in the area of operation and the vehicles that may be integrated by the aggregator shall include all motor vehicles under the Act and e-rickshaw”, the notification said, adding “no person shall act or permit any other person to act as aggregator unless he holds an effective license issued under these rules”.

According to the sources in the Transport Department, few months back Ola and Uber had evinced interest in start of their cab services in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and had requested the Government to notify rules so that they can complete all the formalities for start of operations. Moreover, three-four local companies have also shown interest in starting such services in the Union Territory.

As far as eligibility of an aggregator is concerned, the Rules state: “The applicant shall be a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 or 2013 or a Cooperative Society registered under the Cooperative Societies Act and J&K Cooperative Societies Act formed by an association of drivers or motor vehicle owners or such other association or a limited liability partnership under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008.

While applying for grant or renewal of license, the eligible persons are required to declare that they have their own arrangement of a driving test facility with simulators in Jammu and Kashmir or that they have outsourced it to a third party who have the facility of a driving simulator and are authorized for operating such facility by the Motor Vehicles Department in J&K with respect to the vehicle to be on-boarded for conducting Induction Training Programme.

The Induction Training Programme will be of five-day to be conducted by the aggregator prior to the commencement of on-boarding of vehicles either independently or in liaison with professional institution for providing course compliant with National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF). The course shall include training the drivers on effectively use of aggregator app; on careful driving, on familiarization with routes in the area of operation and on gender sensitization and safety of women and girl child.

The license shall be valid for a period of five years from the date of issuance, subsequent to which it may be renewed for a period of five years on the basis of an application for renewal and keeping in view the aggregator’s record of compliance with the rules.

Only those drivers shall be engaged who are having minimum driving experience of two years; are holder of KYC compliant bank account or holder of Jan Dhan account under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana; have not been convicted within the past three years for the offence of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or any cognizable offence under the Code of Criminal Procedure or Indian Penal Code including fraud, sexual offences etc.

Moreover, the aggregator shall ensure health insurance for each driver for an amount not less than Rs 5 lakh with base year 2020-21 and increased by 5% each year; conducting refresher training programme once a year and shall develop a mechanism to ensure that drivers engaged with more than one aggregator don’t drive beyond a cumulative period of 12 hours so as to safeguard the driver, passenger as well as road users.

As per the rules, the Government shall be empowered to call for such information and documents from the aggregator as deemed fit to ensure compliance of rules and shall have the power to investigate about the drivers who have been off boarded at more than one instance.

Moreover, the Government shall provide access to the VAHAN and SARATHI portal operated by the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways to enable the aggregator to update the details of vehicles and drivers integrated with the app.

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