Hyderabad: The Christmas period to the dawn of New Years was like the jackpot time for taxi drivers and freelance drivers as they could earn up to Rs 5,000 per day given the large bookings during the season.
Alas, things have gotten so miserable for them this year that even winning 1000 rupees at the end of the day sounds like a bonus.
The demand for taxis has increased as they can be booked on a myriad of apps. With many parties lined up starting with Christmas, the demand for drivers has grown by leaps and bounds. Strict control of drunk driving cases has added to the demand for private drivers.
However, fears of the new variant of Covid and restrictions on gatherings before New Year’s celebrations have resulted in the cancellation of several parties. With many people keen to avoid the large crowds, demand for taxis has plunged this year.
âIn 2019, from January 25 to January 1, I earned 5,000 rupees a day. Most drivers won that much. Now we have to wait almost two hours to get a reservation. We are concerned that this situation will continue for some time. Our fate is terrible, âsaid Mohd Faheemuddin, a taxi driver.
Another taxi driver, who declined to be named, said “before the lockdown nearly 1.30 lakh of taxis were busy booking with IT and software companies. The festival hours would bring additional joy because we would earn more.
Alas, they seem like a distant dream as we are gaining a misery these days.
Dandu Lakshmi, engaged with an app-based platform, said, âToday my income was Rs 800 after app commission and fuel expenses. I have to pay an EMI of Rs 23,000 in beginning of the month I don’t know what to do.
She added, âI have to take care of my son and daughter, who are students. IT companies were to open the physical presence from January. Omicron postponed this date.
Shadrach of Yesu-Events said âthere have been no Christmas and New Years parties in IT companies. Private parties and events are also down this year as organizers are unwilling to take the risk of investing money in large gatherings. This has reached our earning potential to alarming levels. “