Delhi government asks IT ministry to block Uber, Ola mobile apps

The Delhi government has asked the Ministry of Information Technology to block the taxi-hailing apps of US-based Uber and its local rival Ola in the city, in a bid to enforce a ban on the companies’ services, according to a Reuters report.

Uber was banned by Delhi government in December last year following rape allegations against one of the drivers contracted to the firm. At the time, Delhi’s transportation department had ordered all web-based applications be shut down pending grant of radio-taxi licences.

However, the company had resumed its operations in the capital within a few weeks by adopting Pooch-O’s model, which is a mobile application that aggregates information about autos in the city. Citing an unnamed official, the report states that the state government believes that blocking the apps is the only way to enforce the ban.

Ola has also continued to operate despite the ban.

Emails sent to both the companies didn’t elicit an immediate response.

The Wall Street Journal, citing another official, had earlier reported that Indian authorities had issued fresh warnings to Uber and Ola that stated, “In order to process your application further, I am directed to seek a sworn affidavit declaring therein that you are complying with the ban order imposed upon your company in letter and spirit.”

Launched in 2009, San Francisco-headquartered Uber is one of the heavily-funded online car hire services in the world. The company enables users to request a ride any time using its iOS and Android apps, as well as from its mobile site Uber is simply a booking platform and the cars are not operated by the company.

Uber started its operations in India in October 2013 and is already present in 11 cities—Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Jaipur, New Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kochi.

Earlier this month,, run by Mumbai-based ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, had acquired Bangalore-based Serendipity Infolabs Pvt Ltd, which runs rival service TaxiForSure, for $200 million (Rs 1,240 crore) in a cash and stock deal.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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