Maxi cab drivers not eligible for ₹5,000 compensation


Maxi cab drivers will not be eligible for the ₹5,000 compensation that Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa had recently announced as part of the relief package for people in various sectors in Karnataka. According to transport officials, the package applies to auto and taxi drivers, but not those driving commercial passenger vehicles with a seating capacity of 7+1 to 12+1.

The State government has come out with various conditions for drivers to avail financial assistance, based on which the Transport Department issued a press release on Saturday.

The decision to exclude maxi cabs has come as a disappointment to many drivers who were banking on the ₹5,000 assistance to meet some of their expenses. It has drawn flak from various unions.

President of Namma Chalkara Trade Union Somashekar K. said compensation should be made available to all categories of drivers. “All those driving commercial vehicles, including maxi cabs, goods vehicles and others, have suffered a lot because of the COVID-19 lockdown. It is disappointing that the government has chosen to exclude them,” he said.

Mr. Somashekar also criticised the “many flaws in the conditions” laid out by the government. “Earlier, the State government had maintained that DL and badges were sufficient; now they are asking for vehicle details as well. Most of the drivers do not own their vehicles and work under multiple vehicle owners. They will not be in a position to get financial relief,” he said.

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Other terms and conditions state that all eligible auto and taxi drivers must apply for compensation on the Seva Sindhu portal. Applicants must provide details of DL, fitness certificate of vehicle, and Aadhaar card.

The State government has directed the Transport Department to make sure there is no duplication of claims or double payment. Applicants must provide a self-attested certificates stating that their finances were affected by the lockdown.

However, infrastructure to facilitate submission of online applications on the Seva Sindhu portal is still not ready. Transport Commissioner N. Shivkumar told The Hindu the portal would be ready by Tuesday or Wednesday.

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Sagar Biswas

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