People can manage with fewer public transport vehicles too, opine locals
Though people have started working under certain restrictions in the third extended lockdown with more relaxations expected in the fourth phase of the lockdown, several people are facing challenges in commuting from their homes to the workplace every day. Some are going to their workplace on foot while those who cannot walk for long are taking cabs. “I live in Ladpur but I work in Paltan Bazaar. Since there are no Vikrams or city buses allowed, I wake up at 5 AM and start walking by 6 AM to reach my workplace around 7AM. Since the stores are not opening every day, I get some rest as it would not be possible to walk so much daily. For now, the driver from our store is dropping the employees in the evening,” said a local resident Neelam Sharma. A Sahastradhara Road resident Tara Rai said that she has to book a cab twice a day to travel between her home and office. “Almost half of my salary will be spent on commutation this month. Most of my colleagues have the same problem too. We cannot skip any work too because we do not want to lose our jobs,” said Rai.
Though people are having difficulties without public transport, some of them opined that it also poses certain advantages like less air and noise pollution and traffic congestion on the roads. “Public transport is necessary but obviously we do not need thousands of public transport vehicles on the roads if people can manage to travel with fewer such vehicles. People just want more and more in everything but the lockdown has taught us that we can live satisfactorily even with fewer resources. A major portion of our city’s air pollution is due to vehicles and undoubtedly public transport is a big part of it,” opined banker Deepak Muyal.
According to the locals, it would be a great challenge to operate the public transport while maintaining social distance after the lockdown. “The COVID-19 disease is not going to just vanish even if the lockdown ends soon. Everyone will need to continue the use of masks, sanitisers besides following social distancing protocol. Therefore, travelling in public transport would be risky too. I think the government should allow some businesses like clothing stores to open on certain days even after lockdown so that people would not travel unnecessarily to the markets. This way, the noise and air pollution will reduce besides the traffic congestion in the city,” said local teacher Aniruddh Sharma. Many of them suggested that like Delhi, the Uttarakhand Government should also allow CNG based vehicles which are cheaper than petrol and also cause less pollution.
E-rickshaw drivers overcharging passengers
While most of the public transport vehicles are not currently allowed to operate, many e-rickshaws can be seen on the roads of the city carrying passengers. According to some locals, those who cannot afford to book cabs or walk to their work are compelled to hire the services of e-rickshaw drivers who overcharge them for every ride. “I work near Tehsil Chowk but I neither own a vehicle nor can I walk much due to knee pain. Though my neighbours sometimes drop me to my office, this week I had to use e-rickshaw thrice. For the first ride in the morning, the driver charged me Rs 180, the next day Rs 200 and in the evening he charged me Rs 230. When I question them about the extra charges, they say they have to pay fine to the police too if they catch them with any passenger. Some e-rickshaw drivers are exploiting helpless people like me during the lockdown,” said a local resident Sonu Pal.
Sunday, 17 May 2020 | PNS | Dehradun
You might also like
- Bold reforms: 75% FDI in Def, pvt investment in coal May 17, 2020
- 32 migrants on way home die on roads May 17, 2020
- Nine new Covid-19 patients reported on Saturday May 17, 2020
- Covid-19 curve surges in U’khand May 17, 2020
- People can manage with fewer public transport vehicles too, opine locals May 17, 2020