NEW DELHI: Delhi government’s transport department has ordered a stoppage to the operation of motorbike taxis, warning service providers that violation of the ban will invite penal action. A circular issued by the department said, “It has been brought to the notice that two wheelers having non-transport (private) registration mark/number are being used to carry passengers on hire or reward, which is a purely commercial operation and in violation of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and rules made thereunder.”The notice added that digital platforms offering motorbike cab services were engaging themselves as aggregators in contravention of the provision of Section 93 of MV Act, punishable by a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh. Cab aggregators, among them Ola, Uber and Rapido, ply petrol and electric motorcycles in the National Capital Region. The companies did not reply to the mails sent by TOI seeking their response to the transport department’s step.TOI had earlier reported that Delhi government would crack down on app-based bike aggregators and motorcycle taxis ferrying passengers in the city. This was primarily because the transport department currently does not give commercial licence to two wheelers.Transport commissioner Ashish Kundra said two-wheeler taxis were not permitted in the current form. “The decision has been taken from the view of regulation and safety of passengers, especially women passengers. In cases of four wheelers, the department gives passenger service vehicle badges to commercial drivers after checking the antecedents of the drivers. But bike taxis are not registered with us,” said Kundra. “In case of accidents or crime, we will not have the antecedent of the drivers.”The decision on whether bike cabs would be allowed in another form will be taken under the new policy which is currently in the draft stage, Kundra said.The transport department said that non-compliance with the notice would invite prosecution and penalties. The driver would also have his driving licence suspended for a minimum period of three months.The bike taxis are a popular mode of travel thanks to their low charges, easy manoeuvrability and capability of providing last-mile connectivity. But being a new concept, several states, like Delhi, are in the process of formulating guidelines for their operations. On January 13, Bombay High Court pulled up Rapido for operating two-wheeler services without licence from Maharashtra government. The Supreme Court declined relief to Rapido. Maharashtra government had argued that there was neither a state policy on bike taxis nor a fare structure.