They put together to ply their commerce as soon as restrictions ease, however say it will likely be months earlier than they get better losses
A number of days in the past, taxi driver Kumar R., a resident of Banashankari, received ₹3,000 as COVID-19 relief from the State authorities. He used that cash to purchase the rations for his household. Mr. Kumar is among the many one lakh taxi and auto drivers who have received the second spherical of economic support.
Transport Commissioner N. Shivakumar advised The Hindu that round 2.15 lakh drivers utilized for support. “One lakh applicants have received the money through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) so far,” he mentioned. The Transport Department has estimated that shut to three lakh drivers might apply.
The cash, whereas offering some relief, won’t assist get better the losses drivers have incurred. Mr. Kumar, who has been driving a taxi for over a decade, has not earned an revenue for the reason that lockdown in April. He signed up with a meals supply platform within the hope that it might assist him meet a few of his mounting bills, however left as he couldn’t earn sufficient to make ends meet. “There was too much competition as many unemployed people had joined the platform. My earnings were not good,” mentioned Mr. Kumar, including that he has not been capable of pay lease for the previous few months.
Ready to drive, however will there be passengers?
The State authorities on Friday had introduced that auto and taxis will likely be allowed to ply with a most of two passengers. But drivers say that even with the relaxations, it can take them months to get better their losses.
Another main concern is the rising value of gas. “Diesel prices have already crossed ₹90 per litre. The cost involved in running a tax is very high and we may not get good bookings for the next five to six months. We will get bookings only when the tourism sector improves and companies ask employees to come back to office,” mentioned Rajeev, a taxi driver.
Drivers have been demanding that the federal government instruct banks and personal lenders to not pressure them to pay EMIs for automobile loans for not less than three to 4 months. “Without any income source, the drivers are not in a position to repay the loans. Last year, when the lockdown was relaxed, within a few days, private financiers started harassing auto drivers demanding repayment of loans. Drivers will face the same problems this time too, unless the government intervenes,” mentioned Ok. Somashekar of Namma Chalakara Trade Union.