Poor patronage for taxis, autorickshaws

Auto rickshaws parked outside the Coimbatore Railway Station on Monday.  

With the State government allowing the public to travel in autorickshaws and taxis in 11 districts including Coimbatore district as part of the relaxations in COVID-19 lockdown from Monday, drivers of autos and taxis said the patronage was poor on the first day.

“I did not get any trips since morning,” said a Coimbatore-based taxi driver and owner of a private call taxi agency. He said it was difficult to predict when the situation would improve for taxi drivers. “People are not stepping out of their houses,” the driver said.

According to B. Mahesh, coordinator of South India Rental Vehicle Drivers and Owners Association, drivers attached to taxi aggregator mobile applications received only a handful of bookings on Monday, which were mostly for medical emergencies. Police personnel were deployed at several points in the city and the outskirts such as Gandhipuram, Singanallur, Saravanampatti and Vellakinar to check whether the passengers had done the e-registration process and were travelling for a valid reason, he said. “We see that those who go out to take a COVID-19 test generally prefer two-wheelers and not taxis,” Mr. Mahesh said.

P.K. Sukumaran, president of Coimbatore District Association of All Auto Rickshaw Workers Union, said that around 15,000 autorickshaws across Coimbatore district started operating on Monday. However, not many customers opted for autos and the situation would likely improve in the coming weeks, he said.

Sources in the Tiruppur City Police said on Monday that with the operation of autos and taxis being allowed, checking was intensified for e-registration across the city and spot fines were levied for those who did not carry out the e-registration process.

In Erode, since only a few passengers opted for trains, a very few taxis and auto rickshaws were operated. Only after e-registration, people were allowed to board the vehicles. A total of 583 two-wheelers and 21 four-wheelers were seized for violations.

In Salem, autos resumed operations though the numbers were minimal.

The city police had set up check points at over 15 places. R. Vedharathinam, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime and Traffic) said strict checks were being conducted and cases registered for violating COVID-19 protocols.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 12:40:21 PM |

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