They ferry professionals in the ITES sector to work and back home, doing odd-hour shifts and losing sleep. Usha Ramani spares a thought for the cab drivers of OMR
They make commuting less tiresome for professionals in the ITES-sector. But, these drivers’ job is anything but easy. These cab drivers, who provide pick-up and drop services to various organisations, are responsible for the safety of hundreds of employees.
With multiple laps to cover, they have quite a lot to juggle and have to work in shifts. Most of these drivers come from different parts of Tamil Nadu and have made Chennai their home. They are usually attached to a travel agency, that coordinates schedules with the concerned ITES companies.
Ganesh, a cab driver at an ITES company at Velachery, says he was previously a lorry driver in his hometown, Tirunelveli. He became a cab-driver to earn more.
Though he finds the income sufficient, odd shifts and broken sleep routine have taken a toll on his health. Ganesh says that if he owned a vehicle, he would have made more money. Senthil feels at home in Chennai. Hailing from Paramagudi, he has been a cab driver for a decade now and managed to buy a vehicle of his own. He says driving a cab is far better than the driving a lorry for the latter involves a 24-hour shift.
On an average, a cab driver on OMR drives about 300 km a day. Most complain about peak hour traffic. At times they end up getting caught in traffic for close to an hour in areas such as T Nagar. Their monthly salary ranges from Rs. 10,000 and 12,000.
The job is a risky one that requires suave management. The drivers must learn to deal with the tantrums of the employees and their travel agencies.
It is a fraternity worth sparing a thought for.