Coronavirus: Lockdown hits livelihood of 5L App-based taxi drivers across India

Hyderabad: Lockdown has severely hit the livelihood of App-based cab drivers across the country.

For the last few weeks, the earnings of cab drivers have fallen drastically as authorities have imposed a curfew to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Indian Federation of App-based Transport (IFAT) said for the last two weeks a driver’s daily income has dropped to Rs 350 after deductions.

Moreover, most of the app-based operators are not plying in the city given the lockdown. Even Uber is only providing essential services as per the government norms.

Drivers who have taken vehicles on rent said they have to pay Rs. 13,000 to Rs.18, 000 EMIs. “The lockdown which extends to all the metro cities will create extreme distress to the drivers and will lead to miseries in the families,” the federation said in a statement

The drivers said the government should direct the banks to waive off loans.

“There are around 5 Lakh cab drivers in India and 80,000 of them are in Telangana. We all supported the Janta curfew. We understand the current situation. We demand that the cab operating companies reduce their commission given the current situation,” said National Secretary of IFAT Shaik Salauddin.

Federation also demanded a minimum salary for food delivery riders. Around 30 states and Union territories in India have declared a complete shutdown. Till March 24, a total of 492 positive coronavirus positive cases were reported in the country.

Aiswarya Sriram

Aiswarya Sriram is a budding multimedia journalist and is currently working for NewsMeter. A graduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, Aiswarya has earlier worked with The Logical Indian and has interned with Republic TV. Aiswarya, a Tamilian who was born and brought up in Mumbai, loves to do rural reporting. She has visited Byadgi Taluk of Karnataka, to write about the issues faced by chilli factory workers there, earlier in 2019. A craft enthusiast, Aiswarya also does quilling, painting and glass work. On her off-days, she loves to read crime-thrillers and watch anime. She primarily reports on civic issues, GHMC, human-interesting features, and fact-checking video stories.

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