• Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

Air conditioners turned off, taxi drivers and passengers feel pandemic heat: The Tribune India


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Deepankar Sharda

Tribune press service

Chandigarh, May 27

If a drop in business due to the Covid-19 pandemic was not enough, taxi drivers now face a problem dealing with customers requesting air-conditioned rides in this rising temperature.

As a precaution, the operators of online taxis had decided to turn off the air conditioning in taxis when transporting passengers.

However, with the temperature skyrocketing in the city, taxi drivers are struggling to make their decision clear to passengers.

The decision to ditch the AC drive came after reports suggested the possibility or high risk of virus transmission inside cars due to the limited area and use by different people.

“We need to make people understand this step. Some drivers have stuck a written statement on the front seat for passenger information. Our activity was already impacted by the confinement. Since we restarted the business, we’ve been struggling to tell people about all of these basic things, ”said Lakhwant Singh, taxi driver for an online business.

“To prevent air recirculation, it was decided to turn off the air conditioning. There are people who are fighting for it. We ask them to roll down the car windows, but the skyrocketing temperature is worrying, ”said Mukul Parikh, another taxi driver.

“People are asking us to produce the government notification (guidelines) in this regard. They started giving us low marks, ”he said.

The city’s maximum temperature exceeds 40 ° C.

“There are no strict warnings, but no one wants to take the risk. Even if you sneeze inside an air-conditioned room, particles stay there for at least 10 minutes. In the case of cars, the duration may vary due to the compact cabins. Cars are used by several people, so we have to be very careful these days, ”said Manoj, another driver.

Last month, the Indian Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioner Engineers issued an advisory that the temperature of air conditioners operating in the home should be between 24 ° C and 30 ° C. However, there is no clarity on the AC cabins.

“It was not a pleasant experience to drive a taxi without the air conditioning, but you have no choice these days. Even the drivers also work under similar conditions. Introducing a cabin partition is a good idea, but it should be cleaned after every ride, ”said Anoop Kapoor, an IT professional.

There is still no clarity on the AC cabins

Last month, the Indian Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioner Engineers issued an advisory that the temperature of air conditioners operating in the home should be between 24 ° C and 30 ° C. However, there is no clarity on the AC cabins.

Disinfect all seats after each trip

To disinfect vehicles, drivers were instructed to wash cabins every second day of use and spray disinfectant on all seats after each ride. Some drivers wear face masks to provide it to passengers, while many have made temporary partitions using plastic sheeting.

600 dismissed employees

Uber laid off 600 employees in India on Tuesday. National rival Ola also downsized last week. Ola cut 1,400 jobs, or 25% of its workforce, as its earnings fell 95% in two months, according to reports.

Difficult driving

Dhristi, a passenger, said: “You can imagine driving a taxi without air conditioning in this rising temperature. Authorities would have to provide authentic proof not to allow the air conditioning to turn on in such hot weather. “

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