Express news service
HYDERABAD: Premcchandar Reddy, 45, an app-based city taxi driver, was forced to take odd jobs every day to support himself. In 2014, he used to bring in 1,500 to 2,000 rupees per day after a 12 to 3 hour shift. Now his daily income does not exceed Rs 500-Rs 600.
âFuel prices have gone up, but not our taxi fares. We drive many miles to pick up a client and get around Rs 10 / km from Ola and Uber. Of our total income, 60 percent goes to fuel and 20 percent to business commissions. We also have to pay for the maintenance of the vehicle. In the end, we have nothing left, âhe lamented.
Another taxi driver, Thirumal Goud, 42, took out a loan in 2016 to buy a four-wheeled vehicle. He has now returned to his ancestral village in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district to work as a farm laborer. âI have to pay Rs 26,000 EMI every month for the taxi, which becomes impossible with inflation,â he said.
“Reduce commissions per application”
On Sunday, the price of gasoline in Hyderabad was Rs 94.92 / liter and diesel at Rs 88.98 / liter. According to the Telangana Cab Drivers Samiti (TDS), many drivers found themselves unemployed or forced to do odd jobs to survive after the Covid-induced lockdown as demand for taxis declined.
TDS Chairman Mukkawar Sunil said that before the lockdown there were around 1.25 lakh of app-based taxi drivers in the state. In recent months, around 25,000 to 35,000 of them have left the profession due to financial problems. âThe government is not at all worried about middle class workers like us. If they can’t reduce the price of fuel, then they should ask companies to reduce their commission, âhe said.