Hyderabad: Cab driver Chakrapani Rudra watched helplessly when his taxi was submerged in the floodwaters on October 16. He needed Rs. 4 lakh to repair his damaged vehicle.

Rudra is among hundreds of cab drivers who lost their livelihood due to last month's floods.

Thousands of vehicles and houses were damaged by the floods in the city. Some of the affected areas include Hafeez Baba Nagar, Al Jubail, Omer Colony, Falaknuma, Chaderghat, and Balapur. People watched helplessly as their vehicles were washed away.

"According to IRDA regulation, we cannot even claim insurance. Insurance can only be claimed for accidents and not floods," said K. Kareshwar, a cab driver from Balapur.

Telangana State Taxi Drivers Joint Action Committee (TSTDJAC) has written to political parties asking them to help Ola, Uber, IT Companies, and Tours & Travel drivers affected by the recent floods and lockdown.

According to TSTDJAC, there are around 1.5 lakh drivers associated with Ola, Uber, IT companies, and tours and travel. Around 5 lakh voters in GHMC limits are earning their livelihood by driving taxis.

"We will vote those candidates who are willing to solve the problems of drivers," said Shaik Salauddin, Chairman, TSTDJAC.

The organization has demanded establishing Telangana Drivers Welfare Board. Drivers associated with Ola, Uber, IT and tours & Travels are also demanding a minimum of Rs 17 per km as base fare, besides reducing the commission for app-based drivers to 5 percent in the city.

Due to lockdown and flood, the earnings of most of the drivers have gone down. The TSTDJAC has demanded an extension of the loan moratorium till December 31, 2020, and a complete waiver of interest for 2020. Besides, they are also demanding 6 months waiver for Fitness & Road tax. Drivers are also demanding the government should implement a Meter System for each taxi.

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