Food delivery apps Swiggy and Zomato have complained to the Delhi government against challans being issued to their two-wheeler riders in the name of a ban on bike taxi services in the national capital.
The food delivery platforms have also sought clarification from the government on the directive while claiming that there has been a misinterpretation of the notice as the ban is applicable to bike taxi service providers.
Swiggy in a letter to the government has said that food delivery riders are being fined up to Rs 15,000 in the garb of the ban on bike taxi services.
"The recent changes in regulations on bike taxi services in Delhi have caused confusion and disruption to food/quick commerce delivery aggregators. Our delivery executives are being wrongly issued challans despite the notification being applicable only to bike taxi service providers," a Swiggy spokesperson told PTI.
He said some of the challans issued to delivery executives are in excess of Rs 15,000.
"This has understandably created fear and apprehension among our delivery executives, who are crucial in ensuring that our customers receive their orders on time.
"We continue to work closely with the authorities to seek clarity on the government's directive. Ensuring that our delivery executives can operate smoothly and serve our customers without any interruptions is our top priority," the spokesperson said.
While seeking clarification on the matter, Zomato in a letter to the Delhi government's transport department has said that the notification has been misinterpreted by RTO officials.
Dinker Vashisht, Group Vice President - Public Policy, Regulatory and Sustainability of the online food delivery platform, said, "The said directions have been misinterpreted by Regional Transport Office (RTO) officials, who have started issuing challans to delivery partners who have been operating for last-mile delivery aggregators such as food delivery aggregators and e-commerce operators."
"This has led to a disruption of services, and confusion among the delivery partners, who are now apprehensive of providing their service with a fear of being penalised and harassed while on duty," he added, seeking urgent intervention in the matter.
When contacted, a Zomato spokesperson said, "While the notice is only for passenger vehicles, there is some misinterpretation on the ground".
The Delhi transport department last month cautioned bike taxis against plying on the roads of Delhi, warning that it was a violation of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, that would make aggregators liable for a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
The use of two-wheelers for commercial purposes is in violation of the Motor Vehicles Act, of 1988. The first offence could lead to a fine of Rs 5,000 while a second offence could incur a Rs 10,000 fine and imprisonment of up to a year, the department said in a public notice.
The driver will also lose their licence for three months under the circumstances.
The notice said some app-based companies are portraying themselves as aggregators in violation of the 1988 act. This will be punishable with a fine of Rs 1 lakh.