In financial distress, taxi drivers urge Himachal govt to allow service

In financial distress, taxi drivers urge Himachal govt to allow service

Taxis stand idle in Mandi. Tribune Photo: Jai Kumar

Dipender Manta

Tribune News Service

Mandi, May 16

The second wave of COVID-19 infection in the state has affected taxi operators badly across the state. Due to sharp increase in Covid-19 cases in the state, the state government has now extended corona curfew up to May 26.

Like many sections of society, taxi services across the state have been hit hard across the state. They have urged the state government to allow taxi service within the state, which will help them to earn their livelihood enabling them to sustain their families.

The taxi operators rue that the state and Central governments have levied heavy taxes on taxi operators to secure an all-India permit. These taxes should be reduced considerably to help the taxi operators in the current Covid crisis as they are facing huge financial crisis.

“Ever since corona curfew was imposition in the state, I am sitting idle at my home. I was using my vehicle as a taxi, which is the sole source of income. Now as I can’t operate my taxi it is getting difficult to meet daily expenditure of my family,” Praveen Sharma, a taxi operator in Mandi town, said.

Like Praveen Sharma, there are a large number of other taxi operators and taxi drivers across the state, who have lost their livelihood.

Mahender Gularia, president of taxi operators union, Mandi, said that during corona curfew many people were using their private vehicles for commercial purpose to ferry people from one place to other in an illegal way.

“So, we urge the state government to allow taxis to operate observing Covid protocol across the state, which will be a huge relief for us. In Mandi district alone, there are around 2,000 taxis, which are off road since the corona curfew was imposed,” he said.

“We urge Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur to understand the plight of the taxi operators and take a decision accordingly for their welfare across the state as soon as possible,” he demanded. 

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