With the strike by cab drivers’ association of app-based aggregators entering its seventh day on Thursday, cab drivers continued to confine their services to Gurgaon fearing damages to their vehicles in New Delhi. Hence, users could only opt for short-distance rides.
Cab driver Jagtar Singh’s Hyundai Eon was damaged on the first day of strike by protesters. The car’s windshield and tail-light were broken. After having paid for the damages through the insurance cover, Singh was hesitant to venture out until the strike is over.
“On Friday, I was driving my car on Jharsa road. I saw protesters stopping vehicles of Ola and Uber but I chose to drive on. I must have driven 50 metres when protesters started throwing bricks and stones at my vehicle. The car’s rear windshield and tail-light broke. I sped away but the fear remains. I have two children who are still in school and depend on my income,” Singh said.
With immediate cab availability still an issue and plying of vehicles towards New Delhi hindered, regular cab users have moved to alternative modes of transport.
Tara Chandra, an employee with a private airline, go to Indira Gandhi International Airport for work from Sector 47. Since Gurgaon does not have any direct metro connection to the airport, Tara depends on cabs. However, the strike has disrupted her commuting schedule.
“It used to take only 40 minutes to reach the airport in a cab. It now takes two hours at triple the fare. I take an unmetered autorickshaw to Huda City Centre metro station and then take another autorickshaw from Chhatarpur metro station to the airport,” Tara said.
Some have also started learning to drive.
“My college is situated in New Delhi and all cab drivers refuse to ply there. Instead of taking the metro and public bus, which adds an hour to my one-way travel, I’m now going for driving classes so that I can the family’s spare car,” Akhil Bhatnagar, a resident of Essel Towers, said.