On Delhi roads, passengers are 'rare species' for auto and taxi drivers

With people keeping indoors and venturing out only for urgent needs, drivers of paratransit vehicles like autorickshaws, e-rickshaws and taxis struggle to find passengers and make ends meet.

Auto drivers had urged Delhi government to open city roads for them. Now, they have urged the government to relax the one-person-only rule. (AFP)
Auto drivers had urged Delhi government to open city roads for them. Now, they have urged the government to relax the one-person-only rule.

The compulsion to follow social distancing norm and sanitise the vehicles to combat coronavirus have only added to their financial woes, the drivers say.

"I started at around 8 am from Preet Vihar. I did not find any passenger for two hours. A woman and her daughter met me near the Nirman Vihar Metro Station, but I had to say no to them because of the government-announced one passenger norm," auto driver Abhay Kumar said on Wednesday.

Also Read : Delhi auto drivers bewildered with 1-person rule, urge govt to allow raise limit

Under lockdown 4.0, the Delhi government has allowed transport services in the city by limiting the number of passengers for various categories of vehicles.

Also check these Vehicles

Find more Cars
Mahindra Ekuv100 (HT Auto photo)
₹ 8.25 - 10 Lakhs* *Expected Price
View Details
Kia Sonet (HT Auto photo)
₹ 6.79 - 13.35 Lakhs* *Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Check latest offers
Mercedes-benz Amg Glc43 Coupe (HT Auto photo)
₹ 83.10 Lakhs* **Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Check latest offers
Toyota Glanza (HT Auto photo)
₹ 7.18 - 9.45 Lakhs* *Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Check latest offers
Land Rover Range Rover Sport (HT Auto photo)
₹ 1.64 - 1.84 Cr* *Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Check latest offers
Porsche 911 (HT Auto photo)
₹ 1.64 - 3.08 Cr* *Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Check latest offers

Autorickshaws and e-rickshaws have been allowed to carry one passenger only. Taxis, cabs, Gramin Sewa, Phat-Phat and eco-friendly sevas can carry only two passengers.

"It is a tricky situation for auto drivers. While most are not getting any passengers due to coronavirus fear, in many cases they are forced to deny passengers numbering 2-3 due to fear of action," Rajender Soni, general secretary, Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh said.

Hari Prasad, who runs an autorickshaw near ITO, said it is very difficult to survive under the current situation.

“The problems are many--lack of passengers, social distancing norms and increased expenses to keep the auto sanitised.

"I had taken this auto on rent. I used to earn on an average around 400-500 every day. I have now taken a loan to survive with my family during lockdown, add to it the mandatory cost of fuel, rent and sanitiser. I thought I would get passengers, but in last two days I earned just 400. I do not think I can continue this anymore," he said.

Soni said the government should pitch in to help the drivers of paratransit vehicles and revise the social distancing norms.

"The government has allowed only one passenger in an autorickshaw which should be changed to at least two for autos and three for taxis," he said.

Rashtriya Rajdhani Kshetra Auto Drivers Union Secretary Anuj Rathor also demanded that the government allow more passengers in autos and taxis.

"Safety from coronavirus is important, but you cannot force them to provide services by facing losses. They are already broke due to joblessness in the past two months. The government should either compensate them or allow to carry more passengers," he said.

E-rickshaw driver Naushad said he took out his vehicle on Tuesday but thought better to wait for a few more days before working again.

"Yesterday was a very bad day. I hoped to earn some money but instead spent it from my pocket. I paid 100 for charging the e-rickshaw and went to the Tuglaqabad Metro Station in the morning. I returned back with just 20 in the evening," he rued.

“People are not coming out due to the fear of contracting coronavirus. Many have also lost jobs and have nowhere to go," he said.

The drivers of last-mile connectivity vehicles like Gramin Sewa, Eco Sewa, Phat Phat Sewa, RTVs among others had similar stories to share.

"Such vehicles mostly cater to lower middle class people, including daily wagers and factory workers, many of whom have gone back to their home states. Drivers of these vehicles do not earn much as the fares are low and they cover short distances," Chandu Chaurasia, vice president, Capital Drivers Welfare Association said.

He also added that the government should revise the social distancing norms and extend financial help to those running the paratransit vehicles.

First Published Date: 21 May 2020, 09:23 AM IST
Shopping Bag Shop Now
74% OFF
Microfiber Car Cleaning Soft Brush Ideal as Mop Duster, Washing Brush with Long Handle, Dust Cleaner Car Wash Brush with Handle, Soft Brush Scratch Free, Cleaning Dashboard Curved Design - Grey
Rs. 389 Rs. 1,499
75% OFF
IDELLA Car Duster, Extendable Long Handle Microfiber Car Duster Exterior Scratch Free Car Cleaning Tool, Car Dust Brush for Truck, Pickup, SUV, RV, Motorcycle, Vehicles Cleaning,(Multicolor)
Rs. 227 Rs. 899
64% OFF
Antson Portable High Power 2 in 1 Car Vacuum Cleaner | USB Rechargeable Wireless Handheld Car Vacuum Cleaner Traveling, Camping Reusable and Sustainable, Portable,Rechargeable Vacuum (2 in 1)
Rs. 699 Rs. 1,939
1% OFF
GOODAIR Clear Car Windshield Enhancer | Classic |12 Tablets
Rs. 295 Rs. 299

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city
Choose city
Powered by: Acko Logo
Please be noted that any information provided herein above will be received by Acko General Insurance Limited (“Acko”). By mentioning the above information, you agree to provide these details and information to Acko.
By clicking "View Offers" you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city
Couldn't verify the OTP.
It's either expired or it's incorrect.