âAbout 2,500 vehicles have gone on strike and only 500 vehicles are operated in the city. The price of diesel has been rising day by day, even we expected it to drop in this lockdown, but it’s not. Last week we even asked the government to lower the price, but no action was taken. So we decided to strike for three days, even if the government failed to reduce the price within three days, then the strike will be continued. And not even a single taxi will be operated at that time, âsaid Muthupandi CSM, president of the Tamil Nadu Call Taxi and Driver Association.
While taxi drivers have already been hit hard due to the COVID-19 lockdown and have resumed full service recently, rising fuel prices have hit them hard again.
âAs the price of gasoline is already approaching Rs 100, and in a day or two, even the price of diesel will be the same. And we are struggling to get a decent income in this lockdown, as the majority of people travel on public transport. If the price of diesel continues to rise, it will be really difficult to continue this activity. And many would end up selling their cabs and choosing another job, âsaid Salavuddin A, who runs Burhani Travels.
Besides the increase in the price of the taxi, commuters also had to wait over an hour for a taxi to pick them up. âUsually, the Ola fare from Stanley Hospital to Puzhal will only cost Rs 180, but as only a few taxis are in town, the fare was Rs 400 for the same route. And we waited almost an hour for the taxi to arrive, âsaid Karthick M, a resident of Vadapalani.