Facing threat to their livelihood because of the complete lockdown in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, several unions of auto, taxi and other last-mile connectivity vehicles in the city have appealed the government to provide them financial assistance.
The unions have demanded financial package as well other interventions like postponement of loan premiums of their vehicles and rebate in taxes to tide over the difficult time.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Tuesday announced a complete lockdown across the country for 21 days to contain the spread of the deadly virus. "The government should provide a package of Rs 1,000 crore to bail out auto, taxi and private bus owners in Delhi," Sanjay Samrat, president, Delhi Taxi Tourist Transporters Association said.
"The government should also postpone our monthly GST liabilities and other financial commitments, including employee state insurance and provident fund contributions," he urged.
Samrat said his association has already written to the prime minister for help, but nothing concrete has been done so far. Rajender Soni, general secretary, Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union and Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh said the Centre should help the auto and taxi owners who have decided to abide by the restrictions during the lockdown.
"The auto and taxi drivers earn their livelihood on a daily basis that has come to a halt due to the lockdown. A large number of auto and taxi drivers and their families are in a precarious situation, but neither the Centre nor the city government has offered any help to them," he rued.
He said the auto taxi unions affiliated with Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh have urged the prime minister for help because the situation will only worsen in coming days.
Chandu Chaurasia, vice president, Capital Driver Welfare Association said drivers of last-mile connectivity vehicles like Gramin Sewa, e-rickshaws among others have been hit hard by the complete lockdown.
"Our patience and resolve is now dissipating because the lockdown poses the threat of starvation before us. The government must come forward to help us financially in this critical situation," he said.
Nearly one lakh autos and e-rickshaws each ply on the roads of Delhi. The number of various kinds of cab services in the city is more than 1.5 lakh.