Mumbai's Kaali-Peeli taxis continue to face lockdown blues with minimal bookings
Kaali-Peeli taxis in Mumbai continue to witness a sharp decline in bookings even after relaxations in Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
As Unlock 1 unfolds, it has not brought much respite for these taxi owners as they are only allowed to ferry passengers related to essential services.
As many as 30,000 Kaali-Peeli taxis are registered with Mumbai Taxi Men's Union and only 500 to 1,000 are plying for essential services during the lockdown.
"The recent order by the government to allow Kaali-Peeli taxis only for essential services is not justified as there are a lot of passengers on the road, who are not getting conveyance either in buses or autos. But taxis are unable to take them as police are taking action against taxis owners for taking non-essential passengers," said General Secretary of Mumbai Taximen's union AL Quadros.
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"Many of our taxi drivers and owners have left for their native places and if this kind of order from government and action from police remains they are less likely to return. The government should have more empathy towards taxi drivers, specially Kaali Peeli taxi drivers," he added.
However, the General Secretary said Ola, Uber and other such operators are not facing such problems, "which clearly shows that the government is not favouring the Kaali-Peeli taxis operators".
The Maharashtra Government has extended Covid-19 lockdown till June 30 and has also issued directives to ease restrictions under the exercise termed as 'Mission Begin Again.'
The movement of individuals will remain strictly prohibited between 9 pm and 5 am except for essential activities. Local authorities shall issue orders in the entire area of their jurisdiction under appropriate provisions of law such as prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC, and ensure strict compliance.