Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.

    SUBMIT

Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence

Disclaimer:

Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
News18 » India
2-min read

Citizenship Act: Curfew Lifted But Assam Remains Off Work as Internet Ban Render Thousands 'Jobless'

The protesting drivers were stopped by police while marching towards Janta Bhawan, following which they threatened to leave thousands of cars on GS road if government continued to ignore their plea.

Tulika Devi | News18

Updated:December 17, 2019, 9:27 PM IST
facebookTwitter Pocket whatsapp
Citizenship Act: Curfew Lifted But Assam Remains Off Work as Internet Ban Render Thousands 'Jobless'
The agitating drivers said for the last seven days, they have not been able to earn anything due to the suspension of mobile internet services. (News18)

Guwahati: Jolted by anti-Citizenship Act protests, Assam limped back to normalcy after a week with curfew being completely lifted from Guwahati and a few other places on Tuesday. However, internet suspension affected commercial activities that dependent on online services.

Frustrated over the situation, nearly 12,000 drivers of cab aggregators Uber and Ola took to Guwahati streets.

"Our business runs on mobile internet and for last seven days, we are facing a very difficult situation. We are unable to feed our families. Many of us have to pay EMI of Rs 10,000 on regular basis. We fear we may become bank defaulters, Ismail Ali, President of All Assam Cab Operators Union, told News18. He claimed that many disgruntled drivers were "thinking of committing suicide".

Internet services have been suspended in Assam since December 11 following protests against the citizenship law. Broadband services were restored on Tuesday but mobile internet remained suspended causing hardship to people dependent on mobile apps and other online services.

"In normal circumstances we work for 18 hours a day and earn somewhere between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,500. We need to save from that amount to pay EMIs, and at the same time, think of our family's survival," Ali added.

The protesting drivers were stopped by police while marching towards Janta Bhawan, following which they threatened to leave thousands of cars on GS road if government continued to ignore their plea.

Meanwhile, in the absence of app-based economic cab services, a section of auto and private taxi drivers were charging exorbitant fares, causing inconvenience to commuters. "On Monday evening, I took an auto ride from Hatigaon to Ganeshguri and he charged me Rs 500. That's an insane amount for a two-three kilometre ride," a resident complained.

Besides, the cab drivers, other e-commerce businesses in the state were hit too.

Recently, the concept of cloud kitchen, which is primarily a restaurant kitchen that accepts orders only through online system, has gained popularity among Guwahati food entrepreneurs. Nearly 25 cloud kitchens that deliver food via app-based services like Swiggy, Zomato and Uber Eats are facing losses due to mobile internet ban.

"Our business range from Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 on daily basis and in last seven days we suffered a loss of more than a lakh. That's a big loss for any startup. If this continues, we will be in real trouble," proprietor of popular cloud kitchen ‘Yes Biryani’ said.

Several people, who were planning to travel during the upcoming festive season of Assam, are also unable to book flight or train tickets online.

On Tuesday, the Gauhati High Court after hearing four PIL's against mobile internet ban had instructed the state government to resume mobile internet services by daybreak. But the government sought a review on the order, citing reasons of law and order. According to some reports, mobile internet services will not be restored in next 48 hours.

Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.

Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

facebookTwitter Pocket whatsapp

Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results