Mumbai

PVC screens to separate drivers, passengers

Drivers rue fines, lack of clarity on rules

Drivers of taxis and autorickshaws are planning to put up plastic sheets as separators for protection and also to instil confidence among passengers about the hygiene protocols adopted by them. However, union officials said this will only be possible if more taxis and autos start running and drivers feel positive about getting business.

“The plastic sheet will provide safety for our drivers. Though the government has allowed taxis to ply with two passengers, many have not hit the road. Once the numbers increase, drivers will put up these sheets,” said A.L. Quadros, who heads the Mumbai Taximen’s Union.

While there is no government regulation mandating the installation of sheets, Ola, as part of its Ride Safe India initiative, has asked its drivers to fit PVC screens in all vehicles to maintain physical distancing.

Vicky Nagpal, who owns Sound FX garage in Andheri (East), said was getting a lot of private cabs to install these sheets earlier, but now many rickshaw and taxi drivers have also approached them.

Thampi Kurien, who heads the Mumbai Rickshawmen Union, said though the PVC sheets may provide some safety to rickshaw drivers, many are still hesitant to ply autos as several of them have been fined since June 5. “There is no clarity on emergency or essential travel. A rickshaw driver is not going to ask a customer what his purpose of travel is. There is fear of contracting the virus, but there is also the fear of getting fined,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 5:28:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/pvc-screens-to-separate-drivers-passengers/article31824026.ece

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