Late-Night Chaos Grips Pune Airport as RTO Crackdown on Ola and Uber Sparks Commotion

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At approximately 1 am on March 15, 2024, Pune Airport witnessed a flurry of activity as numerous vehicles hurriedly attempted to depart, resulting in chaotic scenes.

According to Dr. Keshav Kshirsagar, President of the Baghtoy Rickshawala Association, the Regional Transport Authority (RTO) of Pune initiated unexpected actions against cabs operating under the Ola app. Allegedly, Ola had granted Uber permission to appeal to the State Transport Tribunal, allowing them a month’s grace period to continue operations after their license was denied. Some drivers faced fines reaching up to Rs 18,000.

Furthermore, rumors circulated that 50 RTO personnel were patrolling Pune throughout the night, causing anxiety among cab drivers fearing immediate fines for being on the road.

In response to the situation, numerous cab drivers attempted to exit the airport, with some even dropping off other drivers’ passengers.

The abrupt surge in vehicles led to congestion at the airport, prompting distressed passengers to reach out to Ola and Uber offices located on the second floor of Aero Mall, only to find them closed. Consequently, travelers on late-night flights faced significant inconvenience.

The rejection of Ola and Uber’s aggregator license applications by the RTA in recent days has sparked criticism from various unions, branding the RTO’s actions as a mere “Paper Exercise” with minimal practical impact.