Bangalore Lockdown News: Can’t afford another lockdown, say Bengaluru transporters | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Transport operators, including cab and autorickshaw drivers, are worried that weekend and night curfew will further reduce their earnings. Cash-strapped government transit agencies like BMTC, KSRTC and Namma Metro are also keeping their fingers crossed in the wake of soaring Covid-19 cases.
“We are facing a severe financial crisis but the government has imposed curfew at night and on weekends, which will further affect the transport and tourism sectors. For the past two years, the transport segment has completely collapsed due to Covid and work-from-home arrangement,” said K Radhakrishna Holla, president, Karnataka State Travel Operators Association.
Holla said they are struggling to pay vehicle and business loans, GST, Motor Vehicle (MV) tax and insurance. “We want the government to check Covid without impacting daily business activities.”
Tanveer Pasha, president of Ola Uber Drivers and Owners Association, said: “The state government is playing with the lives of people. We have just started recovering from the losses of previous lockdowns but it is again in a hurry to impose another one. Most drivers are getting business only during weekends.”
He said most foreign cities have focused on awareness and enforcement of mask rule instead of a complete lockdown. “The government should allow establishments to open 24×7 to reduce crowds in shops and on roads. Most cab drivers are in a state of panic as they cannot afford another lockdown,” he said.
Manoj Padikkal, chairman (school transport wing, south zone), Bus and Car Operators’ Confederation of India, said: “Many school transport operators paid pending MV tax and insurance premium after some schools reopened two-three months ago. But now all schools have been closed and parents are refusing to pay transport fees. There is no MV tax exemption. Many transporters may have to leave business if the government continues to impose restrictions.”
C Sampath, general secretary, Adarsh Auto Drivers’ Union, said: “The government has not provided ration kits or sanitisers to auto drivers. Only a few drivers received the compensation announced during first and second waves. Already, a few people are on the streets due to the Covid scare, so business has reduced. The curfew will further affect the earnings of drivers. How will they pay EMIs?”

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Sagar Biswas

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