While setting out for work in the morning on Friday, Ram Singh, a resident of Bhandup, certainly did not envisage that the job would land him in hospital by the afternoon. He was on his way from Bhandup to Kandivli via the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road to drop two passengers, when he was caught in a tangled chain of out-of-control vehicles, sparked off by a dumper with failed brakes and a bust tyre. His two passengers were lucky to escape the mishap with minor injuries, but he has a fractured leg.
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Recalling those baffling seconds after his taxi was hit, Singh said, “All of a sudden, I was jolted with a bump. I did not realise what had happened, but my leg was stuck. The passengers were rescued but I was trapped inside the vehicle for more than 20 minutes, as my leg would not come lose.” Singh makes little hue and cry about the plaster on his leg, but he’s worried about the damage to the cab and the debt that came with it. He had purchased the Omni, priced at Rs 2.70 lakh, from a showroom in Lalbaug a year back, on a loan secured with the help of the Mumbai Taximen’s Union. His vehicle passing was done by the RTO on March 24.
“I have a loan to pay off for the next four years,” Singh said. He continued, “I have been in Mumbai since 1982 driving taxis. After driving a Fiat for years, I purchased the Omni on March 6, 2012. I pay Rs 5,266 per month in installments and have paid off Rs 70,000 so far.” Mumbai Taximen’s Union leader A L Quadros said, “We helped him get the loan funded from the bank. And as a union, we will also help him get his insurance. It is unfortunate that this happened to him.”