The members of Dehradun Vikram Union stated that the operation of Vikrams will not be continued in the city if the operators keep sustaining heavy losses in the next two weeks. Recently, the auto-rickshaw and Vikram unions had decided to resume operation according to guidelines issued by State Government to which they did not agree before. As stated by a Vikram union member Kuldeep Chaudhary, more than 50 per cent auto-rickshaws and Vikrams did not operate on the roads of Dehradun on Monday. According to the operators, there are not enough passengers for every public transport vehicle in the city in current Covid-19 crisis. While talking to this correspondent, several drivers and owners said that neither did the administration hike the fare nor did it allow them to carry more passengers due to which they are compelled to bear heavy losses.
“I earned only Rs 80 on Monday which is not even going to pay for the fuel used in my auto-rickshaw,” said auto driver Kedar Rana. Another driver Soham Das said that when he could not find a single passenger from 8 AM to 3 PM, he returned home and resumed his temporary work of selling vegetables. Most of them who drove their vehicles on Monday did not even earn enough to pay for their fuel, said Chaudhary. He said that state governments of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have provided monetary help to the drivers of public transport vehicles. Uttarakhand Government has not initiated any kind of help so far but expects public transport operators to ply their vehicles with less than half passengers. “It would help everyone if the government would at least hike the fare of public transport. This way, people can safely travel with less passengers and the operators would still be able to collect the same amount but with the less number of passengers,” said Chaudhary. He informed that the current operation of vehicles is just a trial to know whether operators can earn enough to survive during the current time. If they continue to make loss, they will not operate in the city till the situation gets normal again.
Tuesday, 02 June 2020 | PNS | Dehradun