Gurgaon auto drivers wary of adverse impact of e-rickshaws on livelihood
On one hand, the e-rickshaws are charging Rs10 for two kilometres and Rs20 for a two-five kilometre ride but the autorickshaws plying in the city do not have meters installed and have no fixed tariffs, which has always been a bone of contention for the commuters.Updated: Sep 06, 2017 22:30 IST
Though the recently launched e-rickshaw service has boosted last-mile connectivity options from metro stations in the city, autorickshaw drivers are apprehensive that it might adversely impact their livelihood.
On one hand, the e-rickshaws are charging Rs10 for two kilometres and Rs20 for a two-five kilometre ride but the autorickshaws plying in the city do not have meters installed and have no fixed tariffs, which has always been a bone of contention for the commuters.
Thus, commuters expressed their happiness at the launch of 300 e-rickshaws in the first phase on Monday and said the move has made their life comfortable. However, autorickshaw drivers think they are being ‘targeted’.
“The app-based cab services have already made our life miserable and now we also have to contend with the e-rickshaw service in all major areas of the city,” Kosal Kumar, an autorickshaw driver, from Bihar who came to the city to earn his livelihood, said.
Babu Lal, another autorickshaw driver, said, “It is getting very expensive to live in this city. With the entry of cabs, e-rickshaws and bike taxis, we are suffering. Commuters are opting to travel in autos less as they are getting other options.”
Some autorickshaw drivers also were of the opinion that the new options might look lucrative for a few months but autorickshaws are the only viable option for commuters. Some of the features of e-rickshaws, including the these being battery-powered machines, are helping the autorickshaw drivers.
Autorickshaw drivers said that commuters will prefer to travel by autos for long-distance trips as e-rickshaws run on batteries that need to be changed twice a day and these can run for 50 kilometres after being charged for four to five hours.
Currently, charging stations for e-rickshaws have been set up in Wazirabad and Udyog Vihar.
Meanwhile, commuters at Huda City Centre Metro station said it is a positive move, as the government needed to strengthen the public transport system in the city.
“This is my regular route and I travel to Delhi every day. The city lacks last-mile connectivity options. Though private players are trying to cover the void, there is a lot left to be desired,” Anandita Roy, a daily commuter, said.
E-rickshaw drivers said that they are already in great demand and are hopeful that the demand will increase further. “Every day, we are getting more than 10-15 rides a day. The demand is increasing as people find it cheaper to commute in,” said Surender Kumar, an e-rickshaw driver, from Uttar Pradesh, who used to work as a guard.