Coimbatore

Income loss forces cab service owner to convert vehicle into mobile eatery

S. Krishnamurthy with his vehicle in Tiruppur.

S. Krishnamurthy with his vehicle in Tiruppur.  

The owner of a Tiruppur-based tourist taxi service company has converted one of his cars into a mobile eatery after facing income loss due to COVID-19 lockdown.

S. Krishnamurthy, who has been running a private taxi company for the past eight years, said on Saturday that there has been no rides for the two cars that he owns since the lockdown began in March.

“We were able to manage for the past four months with the salary of my eldest son, but we could no longer meet our expenses,” he said.

With a family of four, including his two sons, Mr. Krishnamurthy said that he could not pay the rent of the house at Solipalayam for the past three months.

Having converted his car into an eatery at the end of July, Mr. Krishnamurthy parks the mobile eatery at Gandhi Nagar on Tiruppur-Avinashi Road near his tourist taxi office.

He serves only lunch from Monday to Saturday to the customers.

“I make anywhere between ₹500 and ₹600 a day,” he said.

In comparison, he said that a long ride alone would fetch him around ₹3,000. “It is difficult, but we have to run the family,” Mr. Krishnamurthy, who was a driver for 20 years before he started his own tourist taxi company, said.

The stringent rules for obtaining e-pass are the reason many taxi drivers and owners are out of job, he alleged. “If the State government abolishes e-pass, our livelihoods will be protected,” he asserted.

C.P. Balaji, State joint secretary of All India Tourist Vehicle Drivers Association, claimed that a few taxi drivers and owners in Coimbatore had resorted to selling vegetables and COVID-19 masks from their vehicles owing to loss of income. He suggested that the State government could bring a ‘spot e-pass’ system where e-passes are issued at check-posts.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 1:08:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/income-loss-forces-cab-service-owner-to-convert-vehicle-into-mobile-eatery/article32306413.ece

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