March 24, 2015 / 6:54 PM / 4 years ago

India warns Uber, Ola over resuming taxi services

An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign in Frankfurt, September 15, 2014. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Authorities in New Delhi asked Uber Technologies Inc and its Indian rival Ola on Tuesday to cease operations, saying that otherwise their applications for radio-taxi licenses would not be processed, letters seen by Reuters show.

India ordered a halt in December to operations of all unregistered web-based taxi companies after a female passenger reported she had been raped in New Delhi by a driver contracted to U.S. cab company Uber.

Uber halted operations after the complaint but resumed in January after applying for a radio-taxi license. Ola, backed by Japan’s SoftBank Corp, continued operations.

Delhi’s government transport department said in separate, similarly-worded letters to local units of Uber and Ola that continuing their taxi services would contravene a December order by the government.

Rules set by Delhi’s transport department in December require companies operating taxi-hailing apps to install emergency buttons in their cabs and have tracking devices.

“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,” an official from the transport department wrote.

Spokesmen for Uber and Ola were not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Writing by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Ruth Pitchford

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