Ernakulam District, India – Taxi services, including online cab aggregators like Uber and Ola, which had been put out of work in the lockdown’s wake, will hit the streets here in the Ernakulam district on Monday following the relaxations announced by the Centre.
Under the guidelines, the government has allowed cab aggregators and taxi services to operate in the green and orange zones with one driver and two passengers. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had on Saturday said that inter-district service for essential requirements will be permitted in the green and orange zones.
The state government has provided financial assistance of Rs3,000 to cab drivers, whose livelihood has been severely affected, through the Welfare Fund Board .
“However, most of the drivers are not registered under the welfare scheme and hence could not avail themselves of the aid. Though Ola service is distributing a relief of D500 and D750 for drivers every week there is no such help forthcoming from the other companies. We have urged the government to extend the moratorium for six months and provide a time period of six months for renewal of fitness, permit and tax certificates,” said Jackson Varghese, president, Kerala Online Drivers’ Union.
Meanwhile, the district administration demonstrated the use of fibre glass partition in taxis, separating the driver’s compartment from the passenger section, as part of Covid preventive measures. However, the drivers rejected the idea citing the additional expenditure involved.
“ According to the guidelines, only two passengers are allowed and there is no idea about the number trips which can be undertaken. The airport is closed and hence there will be no trips from there,” said another taxi driver. People can travel in their personal vehicles with same number of people — a driver and two passengers. However, these guidelines do not apply in the red zone areas.
– Source: newindianexpress.com