Hyderabad: New stringent norms deflate city cabbies
- Already hit hard by lockdown, drivers deplore limit on number of trips
- According to the association, the government has asked aggregators to allow each driver with 18 trips only and with minimum two passengers maintaining social distancing norms. But due to less number of cab users, drivers are not even completing 3 trips in a day
♦ Only two passengers are allowed.
♦ Passengers have option to cancel ride without any penalty if they do not feel safe or if either party is refusing to adhere to the new COVID-19 guidelines.
♦ Drivers are required to sanitize their cars after every trip using the supplies.
♦ Ride-sharing service 'Uber-Pool' on the Uber platform will also remain suspended
♦ Air-conditioners in cars will also be turned off to prevent air-circulation between the passenger and the driver.
♦ No passenger will be allowed to sit in the co-drivers seat in front.
Hyderabad: Cabbies who resumed back to work after nearly two months of lockdown are facing a number of challenges. Already stuck with less patronage, the rules set forth by the government are taking a toll.
Shiva Vulkundakar, the State president Telangana Cab Drivers and Owners Association, informed, "The government issued do's and don'ts for cab drivers to follow during this period which is in a way hampering the drivers' productivity along with that the aggregators are also not favourable to drivers."
"Earlier, each driver was asked to complete 22 trips in a day and a driver used to earn anywhere between Rs 2,500 to 3,000. After accounting for fuel expenses, EMI and share for aggregators, the driver is left with Rs 600 to 700 which was his daily income.
But now after the new norms the drivers are earning almost half of what they used to get before," he adds further.
According to the association, the government has asked aggregators to allow each driver with 18 trips only and with minimum two passengers maintaining social distancing norms.
But due to the less number of cab users, drivers are not even completing 3 trips in a day.
"I handled two rides from around 8 AM till 7 PM. I cleaned the cab after the first ride that ended at Lakdikapool, after waiting for 30 minutes I got my second ride for the day which I dropped at Ameerpet.
Each time the passenger got down I had to sanitize the car for my next trip. It is very tough to manage the cost of sanitiser that I used for myself and the disinfectant to sanitise the cab.
We do not earn much so this extra cost is making things more difficult for us," said N Chandramouli, an Uber driver. "There is no work for me for the past two months.
It has become very difficult to manage your day to day expenses and now the regulations and norms will affect us even more," he adds further.
"Ever since the lockdown was imposed, my vehicle has been parked due to which I am facing a lot of technical issues which will cost anywhere around Rs 5,000 to 6,000 and with the ongoing less rides, we have to manage for our daily bread," Pratap, an Ola driver.
"On top of that the aggregators give pick up points that are more than five kilometers away, now the driver having no option has to go all the way to the pick up point which adds up extra fuel cost which the driver has to pay from his pocket," concludes Shiva.