Delhi officials look to block Uber and Ola IP addresses across Indian capital
Wed 25 Mar 2015
Delhi government officials have today called for the national Information Technology ministry to block the IP addresses linked to the mobile applications for the U.S. taxi-hailing app Uber and its local counterpart Ola, in an effort to further impose its ban on the companies’ operations in the city.
In December 2014, following the alleged rape of a female passenger in New Delhi, India ruled that all unregistered vehicles using the smartphone-based service must stop offering taxi services until they hold the required operating license.
However, the order has thus far been largely ignored, with both Ola and Uber continuing their operations throughout the city while they wait for their license applications to be processed.
The capital city government and Delhi transport officials asked on Tuesday that Ola, supported by the Japanese group SoftBank Corp, and Uber refrain from operating should they wish for their licenses to be processed.
“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,” a transport minister wrote in an official statement.
However, now insisting that the apps be blocked in the city is the final push to enforce the ban said an unnamed government official. Both Uber and Ola have declined to comment.
New guidelines for those vehicles that have been registered also requires that all taxis, contracted by ridesharing apps, be fitted with GPS devices and a panic button.
According to the new rules, “radio taxi should be fitted with a GPS and GPRS-based tracking device, printer, and a display panel showing the path traversed and total distance covered.” They must also provide the transport department with “a registered office in the city and details of its headquarter including telephone number, [and] e-mail ID.”
Web-based taxi companies are driven to India, valuing the market potential at between $8bn and $10bn (approx. $5-7bn).
This bid to enforce the Uber ban in Delhi is the latest in a string of worldwide obstacles facing Uber, which finds itself constantly up against alleged cases of violence, rape and operating unlicensed vehicles.