Fuel price hike hits bus, auto services hard

The rising fuel prices has triggered further fear among bus and autorickshaw operators who have been going through a critical phase since the outbreak of COVID-19, with a steep fall in income.

Incidentally, many are not in a position to raise their voice owing to the continuing COVID-19 protocol and possible legal action against protests.

Bus operators in the city said many were desperately experimenting with odd jobs which could temporarily keep them going. According to them, some bus workers have gone for catering services to make both ends meet.

P. Santhosh, a private bus conductor from the city, said the physical distancing protocol and other regulations had seriously hit operators’ income. “Very few buses are being run now, and a majority have kept off the road fearing unexpected loss and operational cost,” he added.

On Thursday, bus workers joined a district-level agitation in Kozhikode to draw the attention of the authorities to their plight. They also cooked rice gruel and served it in a symbolic protest.

Meanwhile, LPG Autorickshaw Drivers’ Union district president Sajeev Kumar sought a benevolent package from the government for workers in the sector. Bus operators’ bodies too called for a fare revision.

“Now, a majority of operators are not able to pay wages owing to the fall in collection coupled with fuel price hike,” said K. Radhakrishnan, State secretary, Bus Operators’ Organisation.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 3:29:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/fuel-price-hike-hits-bus-auto-services-hard/article31919135.ece

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