Fine aggregators not drivers: Workers union to GHMC over ads on vehicles

Hyderabad: Gig and Platform Workers in Telangana have sought Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s (GHMC) action against aggregator companies, including Ola, Uber, Porter, etc, instead of drivers, for the display of advertisements on cabs.

According to the workers, the porter platform that offers commercial vehicles for delivery services including packers and movers, has not paid the taxes that are needed to display these ads on cabs.

The Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union (TGPWU) brought to the notice of the GHMC that aggregators like Ola, Uber, Rapido, Swiggy, Zomato, and Urban are displaying ads on many vehicles, without a permit.

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In a public appeal, one of the workers explained that vehicles bearing the ad posters have been subjected to a Rs 1000 fine daily whenever a time stamp photo of their vehicle is captured.

Hence, they have requested the GHMC Commissioner to take action against such platforms, claiming that innocent drivers must not be held responsible for the aggregators violating the GHMC Act.

The union has also requested cab drivers to immediately remove any relevant ad images and stickers from their vehicles to safeguard themselves from challans (fines).

Notice issued by GHMC over unregulated ads on vehicles

In September 2023, instructions were issued under sections 421 and 622 of GHMC ACT 1955 for the regulation of advertisement elements (name boards of establishments, glow signs, pylons, wall attachments, etc) within the GHMC limits.

Additionally, it was asserted in the notification that rooftop advertisements, ground site structures exceeding 15 feet and ads having moving message devices are ‘not’ allowed in the GHMC limits.

Displaying the notice, the workers alleged that Porter has displayed their ads on many vehicles, without a permit.

The notice further stated that Porter must get permission for the display of ads on two-wheelers, autos, vans and cabs plied in GHMC.

For this, Porter has to pay an advertisement fee of Rs 1,18,80,000 within 7 days, failing which GHMC shall be forced to take the necessary action as per provisions of the GHMC Act, 1955.