Tirupati: Extension of lockdown brings miseries to travel operators
- In the absence of any business, more than 5,000 taxies and vans have been kept idle at private parking areas
- In general, each private travel vehicle owner is losing at least Rs 1,000 per day
Tirupati: Private travel operators in pilgrim city and other parts of district have been badly hit by lockdown imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19. All the private tours and travels operations were stopped by its operators as per the government orders during lockdown. They were disappointed by the extension of lockdown till May 17. It may be noted that Private travels business is one of the major employment sector in Tirupati due to famous Venkateswara temple in Tirumala, and temples in Srikalahasti and Kanipakam. During the lockdown days, travels business has come down to zero . All the taxies and vans relating to private travels have been kept idle at various parking places in city.
More than 5000 families depended on travels industry. All the travels operators have been waiting for lockdown relaxation. As entire Chittoor district is declared as red zone, Government of India has extended lockdown till May 17th in the district. This brings hardships to private travel operators and drivers..
In normal days 4000 to 5000 private travels vehicles were operating trips between Tirumala and Tirupati for pilgrims. In addition, travels operators were providing vehicle facility to pilgrims to visit Srikalahasti, Kanipakam, Vellore golden temple and other places.
Many private travels owners had purchased cars and mini vans by obtaining loans from various banks and financiers. Without work, they lost their income and at the same time they have pay instalments to banks.
Drivers are facing more difficulties to run the families without any income. On an average, the drivers were getting Rs 1,000 income per day when they were working. Now they are struggling due to financial problems.
State government has ignored this sector during lockdown period. Tirupati based local travels operator Jayachandra Naidu said that extension of lockdown disappointed them a lot.