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Uber and Ola drivers stand next to their parked vehicle's during a protest.Reuters file

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy chaired a meeting with representatives of app-based taxi aggregators—Ola and Uber—along with driver unions to resolve the issues regarding pay commission and women safety.

The taxi driver unions have accused both the operators of charging a high commission for their service. It has become a struggle to sustain in the occupation any longer, they lamented.

Previously, at the dawn of the new taxi services in 2015, the cab drivers were reportedly earning close to one lakh a month, but the hike in commission and also slab on the number of trips per day to earn incentives in recent months have been increased cutting down on their profit margins.

The drivers claim that their earnings were hit so badly that they cannot afford regular car service.

It has to be noted that drivers had approached HD Kumaraswamy in November 2017 with a similar plea. He had then helped them with funds to set up the new taxi-hailing app Namma TYGR to take on Ola and Uber.

Ola, Uber, HD Kumaraswamy, drivers union meetiing
HD Kumaraswamy, CM, Karnataka interacting with Ola, Uber representatives and driver union members in BengaluruCM of Karnataka official/Twitter

In the meet, Kumaraswamy directed the state transport department to probe the allegations and also convene meetings with drivers and cab company representatives separately to sort out the problems as early as possible.

Meanwhile, Ola released a statement saying that they adhere to the rules and regulations.

"We adhere to the rules of the Karnataka Transport Department and operate with the aim of strengthening transportation services and offerings for everyone. Our driver partners are the pillars of our business and service, we are constantly working towards their welfare and wellbeing," Ola spokesperson said to International Business Times India Edition.

HD Kumaraswamy has also asked the transport department to chalk out a proper plan with taxi aggregators to ensure women safety in the city.

"I had instructed to ensure the safety of women cab travellers, in a meeting yesterday with transport dept officers & taxi-app based cab service reps. A committee will be formed to look into the problems in the sector & the same committee will address the safety issues of women travellers," the chief minister said in a statement.

The order comes in the wake of the recent report of Ola driver sexually assaulting a woman passenger on the way to the Kempegowda International Airport Ltd (KIAL) in Devanahalli.

On June 1, a 26-year-old architect was on her way to the airport to catch a late night (2:00 am) flight to Mumbai when the Ola cab driver Arun V (31) took a different route, just before the toll gate, claiming it was faster. He took her to a desolate place and threatened to strip her clothes. He then reportedly forced himself upon her while she resisted and screamed for help.

Arun also took the victim's pictures and threatened to upload them on the social media channels if she approaches the police. He dropped her at the airport.

The victim confided her ordeal with her father after reaching Mumbai. The shocked father made her file a complaint with Bengaluru Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar via email.

Taking cognisance of the issue, the city police chief ordered the Jeevan Bima Nagar jurisdictional inspector follow up on the case. The police acted swiftly and arrested Arun. He was booked under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty, using sexually coloured remarks) 354-B (invoking for assaults or uses criminal force to disrobe woman).