Hyderabad: Autos, cabs flouting Covid safety norms
Drivers of autos and cabs have stopped practising safety measures, particularly sharing autos and seven-seaters which mostly ply in suburbs. They are seen flouting norms like use of masks, social distancing, even as crammed vehicles veer past at busy bus-stops
Punjagutta: Undeterred by the fact that Telangana would soon cross the three lakh case marks, autos and cabs in city are seen totally disregarding risks posed by the second wave of Covid which hit a few States.
It has been a year since coronavirus struck the State. But the casual attitude being adopted by those who are in transport business remains a cause of concern for passengers. Drivers of autos and cabs have stopped practising safety measures, particularly sharing autos and seven-seaters which mostly ply in suburbs. They are seen flouting norms like use of masks, social distancing, even as crammed vehicles veer past at busy bus-stops.
The cab drivers are seen not following the Covid norms. The practice of regular sanitisation of vehicles is now history. "I commute through Uber and Ola services which include a cab or auto. Being a regular commuter, I believe that they are not sanitised, like the way they did in the initial months when the pandemic struck the State. Now they are not even wearing masks and not accepting online payments, which can easily spread the virus," felt K Aruna, a lecturer and resident of Alwal.
"I took a cab to go from Khairatabad to Banjara Hills. When the cab arrived the driver was not putting on his mask. During the ride he was coughing and sneezing. After finishing my ride, he picked another customer without sanitising the cab," said N Manjula Rani, a resident of Khairatabad. While acknowledging this, an Uber driver said that they only sanitise vehicles once a day. After that they don't sanitise as they get a new ride. T Srinivas, a cab driver, said "most cabs may not be sanitised for every ride because immediately after finishing one ride we get another booking. There will be no time to sanitise the vehicle as it gets late for customer."
Speaking to The Hans India, A Sathi Reddy, president, Telangana Auto Drivers' Welfare Samakhya, put the onus on passengers, as even they are riding vehicles without masks. "Most drivers are following Covid norms, except a few. Even authorities are no more concerned about the issue. It is for the government to strictly enforce the norms," he said.