Two-passenger policy costing Ambala auto drivers dear
Say it is difficult for them to cover even their fuel costs and so ultimately, passengers will be made to pay a higher fareUpdated: Jun 01, 2020 05:14 IST
After easing of lockdown restrictions, auto-rickshaws have been allowed to ply after more than one-and-a-half months on the roads of the twin cities here.
Due to the coronavirus scare and scorching heat, there are already fewer people on the roads, and the two-passenger policy for auto drivers is making it much more difficult for them to cover even their fuel costs and, ultimately, passengers will be made to pay a higher fare.
Anil Kumar, 37, who has been driving an auto for the past two decades in Ambala cantonment, said, “The meagre fare due to two-passenger policy for autos doesn’t even cover my fuel cost. I started driving my auto three days ago, but there are not many people out on the roads.”
“Do hi allowed hain, lekin hum gap rakh ke teen log bitha lete hain, majboori hai,” Anil said, while negotiating with a customer of Shahabad.
He said, “During the lockdown, I had to borrow money from a friend to survive with my family of five with parents living in Bihar. My parents were not well and I had to send some money for them too. I don’t know when I’ll be able to return the money to my friend.”
Another driver said, “We used to charge minimum ₹10 and maximum ₹20 from passengers, but now I’ve to charge ₹150 for a one-side ride from two or three passengers.”
A passenger, travelling from the cantonment to the city in an auto, said, “We understand auto drivers’ situation and that is why I have to pay ₹70 instead of normal fare of ₹10.”