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Hyderabad: Coronavirus scare takes toll on cabbies' earnings

Hyderabad: Coronavirus scare takes toll on cabbies earnings
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With international flights getting cancelled and less mobility by the travellers, cab bookings have come down to less than half of the normal days
Highlights

Cabbies are the worst hit by the coronavirus scare in Hyderabad with cancellation of international flights and closure of cinema halls and malls in the city.

Hyderabad: Cabbies are the worst hit by the coronavirus scare in Hyderabad with cancellation of international flights and closure of cinema halls and malls in the city.

As their daily income gone down to less than Rs 500, drivers are finding alternative for livelihoods. Every day over 3,500 vehicles ferry passengers from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport to different places in the city.

With international flights getting cancelled and less mobility by the travellers, the bookings have come down to less than half of the normal days.

Indian Federation of App Based Transport Workers (IFAT) National General Secretary Shaik Salauddin said that there were 1.25 lakh cabs in the city and the business has gone down for many of the cab drivers.

Most of the drivers are owners of the cab and the outbreak of coronavirus has left impact on the livelihoods. During normal days on an average every cabbie takes up 15 to 20 bookings and make earnings of over Rs 1,000 after clearing all the expenses.

However, in the last few days the bookings have come down from 5 to 8 every day.

The cabbies need 20 to 25 bookings everyday with incentives from the aggregators to meet their expenses including the EMIs of the vehicles and earnings. With bookings coming down the cabbies are unable to get basic earnings.

Salauddin said that the case was not only with airport but also on the IT corridor route. Many firms have extended the work from home option to their staff and some prefer to go their offices in their own vehicles.

"The pool bookings (sharing) have come down to a larger extent during the last few days as the travellers are indulging in arguments over not taking precautionary measures like applying masks.

We are also not taking the pool bookings," said Salauddin. He said that the cab drivers are having sanitizers and providing masks as part of safety measures on their own as the aggregators were not providing these.

The hard time is forcing the cabbies to look for alternative livelihood. A cab driver K Ramesh said that he was working in saloon of his cousin as he could not get enough business by the end of the day.

He said that the government should come to their rescue by facilitating delayed loan repayment because the business has gone down because of the corona scare.

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