Hyderabad cab drivers out of business due to COVID-19 pandemic

Hyderabad has around 1.75 lakh cabs including 33,000 cabs hired by IT companies

Hyderabad: Cab drivers in Hyderabad who were initially hit by lockdown due to coronavirus, are still facing immense difficulties as the pandemic has thrown a large number of cab drivers out of job.

Even though the government has announced Unlock 5 as part of its phased re-opening for economic activities but cab drivers are still jobless since March due to COVID-19 induced lockdown.

While talking to ANI, Shaik Salauddin, chairman of Telangana Taxi and Drivers’ Joint Action Committee said that as Information Technology companies still operating in work-from-home mode, 33,000 cabs hired by these companies have gone off the roads, rendering the drivers jobless.

According to him, it has become very difficult for cab drivers to feed themselves and their families.

“We were expecting the situation to change after unlock but the business hasn’t returned to normal. Hyderabad has around 1.75 lakh cabs including 33,000 cabs hired by IT companies. Since employees are working from home, the cabs are out of business. Ola and Uber have also not fully resumed services,” Salauddin said.

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“Due to lack of work for these drivers, most of the drivers have returned to their home towns in search of bread and butter,” he added.

Salauddin said adding to the woes of drivers, now the financers have been putting pressure on them to register the vehicle as the lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

“Now since unlocks have been implemented, finance companies are asking to pay EMIs. We had requested the Telangana government to waive-off road taxes for the lockdown period but the government has not taken any decision in this regard,” he said.

Sathish, one of the cab driver said he is unable to feed his family as he is out of work since March.

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“The cab drivers in Hyderabad are facing a lot of problems earning their livelihood due to lockdown. Even after unlock, the cab drivers’ positions have not improved as most of the passengers are working from home and the rest are using their own private vehicles. As the IT companies have not started yet, a major part of the cab drivers are left jobless since March of this year,” said Sathish, a cab driver from Hyderabad.

“Though most of the drivers have left for their hometowns in search of menial jobs, they are not enough to earn a living. We are unable to feed our families as we are out of work,” he added.

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