Be careful while travelling in autos, taxis, and aggregator cabs as no one is monitoring if the drivers have vaccinated themselves or have taken RT-PCR tests. As per new guidelines, it is mandatory for these drivers to carry negative Covid report or take vaccination. However, nothing is being done on the ground. Currently, the situation is bleak due to a shortage of vaccines and on the other hand, the Covid cases are rising and so people are afraid to step out.
The unions of auto-rickshaws and taxi drivers claim that it is for the government to make arrangements for ensuring safety. All those drivers who are above 45 years are eligible for vaccination but the unions claim that their drivers aren’t proactive. “The government should treat these drivers as from essential category and make arrangements for camps for giving vaccines,” said A L Quadros, a senior taxi union leader.
Not just this, the government in their new guidelines have stated that the drivers should also take RT-PCR tests and keep Covid negative reports. “Taking RT-PCR reports after every 15 days is not feasible. From where will the drivers spend so much when earnings are also affected,” questioned Shashank Rao, auto rickshaw union leader.
The auto rickshaws and taxis had earlier places these sheets to partition themselves from passengers. These however have been removed from the majority of these black and yellow auto rickshaws and cabs. Likewise, even the aggregator cabs of Uber and Ola have also removed these sheets from a majority of their vehicles.
The unions of these aggregator cabs claim that there is no special arrangement made for giving vaccinations nor do they have earnings to go for Covid tests every fortnight. Both Ola and Uber didn’t comment on the latest measures being taken for their driver-partners in tackling the second wave of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the BEST claim that they have already vaccinated 24000 staff out of the total 36000-odd employees and that 9000 of them have also been provided a second round of vaccines. The number of daily passengers in BEST has dropped to 20.37 lakh on April 6 which was 23.40 lakh on April 1.