Getting to work may prove a tough task on Monday with most taxi, bus and auto unions confirming that a majority of their vehicles will stay off the roads to celebrate Holi. Even the railways would run less than regular number of locals during the day.
Of the 32,000-odd black and yellow taxis, 70 per cent will remain off the road tomorrow, with a majority of the drivers, who belong to UP and Bihar, taking the day off to celebrate the festival of colours. “Holi being an important festival for those who hail from north India, it is likely that many drivers wouldn’t run their cabs,” said A Quadros, union leader, Mumbai Taximen’s Union.
Many drivers say they fear their vehicles would be damaged by gulal-covered passengers or thanks to various colours being thrown at cars. In the suburbs, too, many auto rickshaw drivers may not take their vehicles out on road. Of the 1.04 lakh rickshaws that ply on a normal day, an estimated 70,000 will stay off the road. “Even those who step out, do so on their own vehicles,” said an auto union leader.
BEST, too, would be running fewer buses. A BEST spokesperson said a total of 1,345 buses would ply during the first half of the day and 1,410 would operate during the second half. Railway officials too said only 70 per cent of the regular services would be operational on Monday.