Hyderabad: Now that the government has relaxed all the COVID restrictions the auto drivers are seen happy-go-lucky with no mask and no social distancing.
One of the major reasons seems to be absence of mechanism to enforce the guidelines; stringently complacency has taken over the people resulting in all sectors neglecting the norms.
It was seen that the auto drivers in the city do not have the necessary equipment like a cover shield to be placed between the passengers and a few are seen working without wearing masks. Also, the social distancing norm allowing only two or three passengers is not being followed by the autos, more particularly in share-autos and no driver is sanitizing the autos after each ride.
It may be mentioned here that last month the authorities allowed a few RTC bus services to operate but as the number of services have been reduced the commuters are forced to ply on autos to reach their destination.
Baglekar Akash Kumar, 5th year LLB student and a resident of Tarnaka said, “I am forced to travel by autos in this pandemic as there is a shortage of buses. Many share autos are blatantly abusing the Covid norms by carrying more than two passengers. I have to request the auto drivers to wear masks and not to take more than two passengers at a time. I urge the government to enforce preventive measures stringently” reports the Hans India.
G Ravi Kumar, president, Tengalana Auto Drivers Union, says, “The Covid pandemic has affected the livelihoods of many auto-drivers. Many have opted for other sources of income. The drivers continuing with the business are witnessing a reduced income as a result they are unable to bear the expenses of sanitizers and others. The drivers are unable to follow all the guidelines like sanitising the vehicles after each ride and putting plastic sheets between the passengers as the plastic sheet is very expensive,” he said.