COVID-19 scare is driving Telangana cab drivers out of business

Hyderabad: The lockdown and Coronavirus scare in the state is driving Hyderabad cab operators out of business. Hit hard by both, Ola and Uber drivers have switched over to other lines of work such as selling vegetables or mangoes on the street.

While Ola and Uber resumed their operations earlier this month, drivers allege that their working IDs have been blocked by the companies. They are being forced off the road by aggregators for not renewing motor vehicle documents, and their fitness certificates. 

A sharp drop in demand, high costs, and the coronavirus pandemic scare are keeping thousands of Ola and Uber drivers off the road even though cab services are still continuing in the state.`

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Syed Zakir Hussain, a driver from Hyderabad city’s Yousufguda area, earned his living by ferrying passengers from the once busy IT corridor passengers. Since unlock 1.0 began, he has been bringing his vehicle from home and parking it in the Kalyan Nagar near JJ Hospital footpath and removing mango kits from his car and started selling the exotic fruit. 

Several cab drivers in the state have been out of work since March, there are no passengers around. 

Shaik Salauddin National General Secretary Indian Federation of App-Based Transport Workers, an umbrella body of several Ola and Uber unions across the country, said, “Even after cab drivers started the services in different parts of the country, they have had to wait for hours to get booking. Due to this, most of the cab drivers have set up little businesses to survive. Adding to their problems the companies have blocked their working IDs through which they get bookings and business as cab drivers did not renew their fitness certificates.”

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