Covid-19 gives auto owners, drivers a rough ride

Covid-19 gives auto owners, drivers a rough ride

Autorickshaws wait for passengers near bus stand in Kodlipet, Shanivarasanthe. DH Photo

The Covid-19 pandemic has not only dipped the income of autorickshaw owners and drivers but has also left them to fend for themselves.

For the past six months, passengers are hesitating to take the autorickshaws due to the fear of Covid-19. The autorickshaw drivers are seen waiting for passengers at bus stands in Kodlipet and Shanivarasanthe.

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Earlier, people getting down from the buses would take autorickshaws to reach their destinations. Now, people are not frequently traveling in buses, and as a result, bus shelters wear a deserted look. This has seriously affected the livelihood of autorickshaw drivers and owners. Even though the movement of private buses has started, passengers are not willing to travel.

However, the autorickshaw drivers have been parking their rickshaws at auto stands from the morning and most of them return home empty-handed in the evening. Managing day-to-day expenses has become a challenge for them. Some are thinking of taking up alternative jobs to make ends meet.

Karnataka Rakshana Vedike Kodlipet hobli unit Secretary D R Vedakumar said that the condition of autorickshaw owners and drivers had turned pathetic. They are dependent on auto-rickshaws for their livelihood. The government should formulate programmes for them, he added.