Auto drivers happy to be back, urge govt to increase passengers allowed


New Delhi: While the COVID-19 crisis continues, the relaxations in restrictions announced by the government during the phase four of lockdown have given a new lease of life to the auto-rickshaw drivers in the national capital, Delhi.

Auto-drivers, who arrived at the New Delhi Railway station early morning on Tuesday, expressed happiness over the decision by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, they, however, also lamented over the restriction of being allowed to carry just one passenger.

“It is a great decision by the government and it will help us in to earn some money after close to two months of the shutdown of services. However, the decision to allow just one passenger at a time should be reconsidered. Suppose a family of two wants a mode of transport, can they take an auto? This rule should be tweaked,” Anil Prasad, an auto driver, told ANI.

The General Secretary of Delhi Auto-Rickshaw Union, Rajinder Soni too thanked the Centre and Delhi government for their decision.

Soni said that the most auto and taxi drivers in the country had faced a lot of hardships and they were staring at starvation during the COVID-19 induced lockdown.

He also demanded a relief package for them, along with tweaking of the guidelines to enable the drivers to ferry more passengers on each ride.

According to data, there are about 95,000 auto-rickshaws, 10,000 taxis (black and yellow), 27,000 cabs attached with cab services, and around 70,000 tourist taxis in Delhi.

As the Centre has extended the nationwide lockdown till May 31 to contain COVID-19 spread, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced a detailed set of restrictions and relaxations in the national capital. (ANI)