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Rickshaw drivers feel the pinch of fare hike

The recent hike in auto and taxi fares is proving to a double-edged sword for drivers.

While some of them are rejoicing the fact that their daily earnings have gone up, there are others who claim to be victims of this upgrade.

Rickshaw drivers
Not ‘fare’! An auto driver said earlier he used to turn passengers down, but after the increase in rates people are refusing to travel by autos. Representation pic

Those impacted adversely say their daily income has dipped to such an extent that they are contemplating whether to continue or quit.

These drivers said since the fare hike, people are opting to either travel by buses or walk short distances. They said this has reduced their earnings by over 50 per cent.

Tables have turned
Kishor Jadhav, an auto driver for the past 12 years, is upset with this change.

“These days passengers don’t even look at us. They either wait for a bus or walk to nearby destinations. Some of the rickshaw drivers have decided to meet the union soon and discuss the issue,” said Jadhav.

An auto driver from Chembur, Ramji Upadhyay said he now readily ferries commuters irrespective of their destinations.

“Earlier, we would refuse passengers. But now people are refusing to travel by autos. Our businesses has gone down drastically, to such an extent that it has become difficult to manage our families’ daily needs,” said Upadhyay, who has been driving for the past 20 years.

Commuterspeak
“The fare has almost doubled. Earlier, I would set a budget of Rs 50 per day for travelling. But now I save the entire amount because I no longer travel by autos,” said Narendra Nigam. 

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