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Third wave of COVID-19: Auto and taxi drivers in Mumbai struggle to survive as income goes down after restrictions

'I am earning very less money and managing the family household has become difficult', added Dinesh.

Kamal Mishra | Updated on: Monday, January 17, 2022, 09:20 PM IST

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While the Corona epidemic is hurting all people in terms of livelihood, third phase of the pandemic’s spread has badly hits the income of both owners and drivers of taxi and auto rickshaws plying on the roads of Mumbai city as well as in suburban.

"Auto and taxi operator of the city had somehow recovered from the first and second wave but now they are struggling for survival. Recent hike in CNG prices and 'work from home' culture has forced them to look for an other job" said Dinesh Yadav, who runs taxi since last 10 years in the city."

'I am earning very less money and managing the family household has become difficult', added Dinesh.

Monthly installments to banks for the loan taken for their vehicles has still continued even after their earnings have gone down.

Many drivers have started looking for another job, but are not getting any work. Most of them live in rented house and landlords are getting restive over delay in payments of rent. “We borrow from our acquaintances to support our families. Vehicle owners too are struggling to pay their EMIs to banks,” stated a driver KK Tiwari, head of taxi rickshaw cell of Mumbai BJP.

Ashok Pandey (44), who drives his own vehicle said, Due to work from home and restrictions on people hardly to travel, income has gone down. The finance companies are after them for delaying installments.

Another driver, Suresh Uppdhyay , said he does not know how to repay his debts. Previously he earned around Rs 700 to 800 daily, but now hardly he is getting Rs 200 to Rs 250 after deducting the fuel charges.

"Several times price hike of CNG in recent past, increased our operational cost by at least by 25 percent. Meantime due to 'work from home' culture number of passengers gone down by almost 50 percent now." said Suresh . He has already started looking for another job , but have not received any positive response yet. In last 12 months CNG price increased by around Rs 14 per kg in the MMR.

Another taxi driver of the city Ram Kripal said the coronavirus had deeply hurt the lives of drivers. He would keep the vehicle waiting for the passenger on the stand and sit back . End of the day, sometimes, he returns home empty-hand.

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Published on: Monday, January 17, 2022, 09:20 PM IST