The recent death of a Kolkata-based woman in the city by a cab driver attached to a cab aggregator, while on her way to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), has once again brought to the fore the issue of passenger safety in app-based cab services.
The incident happened on July 31 and the deceased, Pooja Singh, an event manager had come to the city to attend an event. During her stay she had booked a cab through Ola of July 30 from Crescent Road in Kumara Park to a hotel in Parappana Agrahara. She later called the driver, identified as Nagesh, and asked him to take her to the airport at 4 am the next day. He agreed but hatched a plot to rob her of her valuables. He knew that since Pooja had made an unofficial booking, the cab’s movement will not be tracked by the aggregator’s GPS service. Pooja boarded the cab on Hosur Road at 4.15 am and soon fell asleep. She was taken to an isolated place and killed after she refused to part with her valuables. The body, with multiple stab wounds, was later dumped near the KIA back gate.
Cab association has now raised the issue of safety in those travelling by Ola, Uber and other app driven cabs. They said the aggregators have to take the strict measures to prevent unofficial bookings.
Ola, Taxiforsure and Uber Drivers and Owners Association President, Tanveer Pasha told Deccan Chronicle, “This incident is very shocking and people will think twice before booking cab services. It’s easy for these aggregators to say they are not responsible because it was an unofficial booking. But we demand that aggregators take measures to prevent such unofficial trips during duty hours.” He said some drivers do indulge in such crimes, so it’s better to control them with making some strict rules. “These aggregators have the data base of all its customers, so let them send the alert message urging passengers, especially women, to avoid booking unofficial trips. Our association is planning to meet city Police Commissioner bring in some strict rules for cab drivers,” Tanveer added.
None of the cab aggregators were reachable for comment.