Saturday, July 13, 2024

Locals close down Rapido office in Shillong for ‘illegal’ operation


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SHILLONG, July 2: In a drastic step, an association of local taxi drivers in Shillong and its outskirts called the Synjuk ki Nongñiah Taxi Sor bad Khapsor, along with Pynskhem Uriah, the founder of the local ride-hailing service Jets 24×7, took action on Tuesday to shut down the office of the Bengaluru-based company Rapido at Malki.
Rapido, primarily known for its bike taxi services, was accused of operating illegally in Meghalaya without a trading licence. This unauthorised operation has reportedly threatened the livelihood of local aggregators like Jets 24×7, which holds the necessary permits from the Transport Department.
Uriah emphasised that their actions were prompted by the authorities’ inaction despite a directive from the Deputy Commissioner’s office to address the issue of unregistered aggregators. “I have nothing against the firm since I know that they are providing employment opportunities. But I don’t think it is right to be operating illegally without the necessary permission and license,” Uriah stated.
He expressed frustration over the competition with unlicensed aggregators from outside the region, describing it as discouraging. Uriah clarified that their decision to close Rapido’s office was not made hastily, noting that Jets 24×7 has been licensed since April last year.
Efforts to address the issue included submitting representations to Deputy Chief Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar, who is in charge of transport, but these appeals have gone unanswered. “My focus should have been to plan how to improve my business. But I am left with no option since nothing was done to stop the illegal operation of the aggregator from outside,” Uriah lamented.


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