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India's capital orders Uber off its roads

The Indian capital banned Uber and other unregistered web-based taxi services in December after one of the American company’s drivers was charged with raping a passenger.

Uber and Ola, which connect passengers to drivers through smartphone apps, subsequently applied for formal licences to operate as radio taxi companies with offices and call centres.

They have resumed operations even though their applications are still pending.

“We banned them, but they were still continuing in contravention of our order,” Delhi’s deputy commissioner of transport S. Roy Biswas told AFP on Wednesday.

Biswas said authorities had asked both companies to “file an affidavit swearing their compliance with the order” before their licence applications would be processed.

Delhi authorities in January had rejected Uber’s application for a new licence, citing “discrepancies” and asking the company to provide further details.

Uber set up its India operation in September 2013, and now operates in nearly a dozen Indian cities including Delhi.

Following the alleged rape the company was accused of failing to conduct adequate background checks, after it emerged that the driver had previously been accused of assaulting women.

The California-based startup’s rapid international growth has sparked tensions with rival taxi companies, which protest that Uber cars are not subject to the same regulations.

Last month Delhi authorities asked the central government to block the Uber app.

Uber and Ola did not immediately respond to AFP’s calls for comment. -AFP



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