COVID-ready kaali peelis all set for Mumbai

Updated: 14 October, 2020 07:58 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

For safety of passengers and drivers, an isolation screen has been installed in the taxis, and drivers have been given sanitisers, disinfectants, masks, etc

A driver with the sanitiser kit outside the Wadala RTO
A driver with the sanitiser kit outside the Wadala RTO

Armed with sanitisers, disinfectants and masks against the novel Coronavirus, drivers of over 100 kaali peelis are set to get back on the road after months of being out of service owing to the lockdown and the COVID-19 scare.

Under a pilot project launched on Monday with the collaboration of the Wadala RTO, Mumbai Taximen's Union and United Way Mumbai — a community improvement NGO, 150 drivers have been trained on preventive measures against Coronavirus transmission while on the road.

30 back on road

Taximen's Union secretary Anthony Quadros said by Tuesday about 30 of the 150 cabs are already back on the road and more will start soon.

Each taxi will have an isolation screen and a COVID-19-readiness kit - including three reusable six-layer face masks, two surface disinfectant spray bottles, 1.5 litre hand pump spray bottle, a 5 litre can of hand sanitiser, a micro fibre cloth and 10 strips of paper soaps. All cabs will also be sanitised.

"The event was inaugurated yesterday in the presence of Wadala deputy regional transport officer Prakash Jadhav and Taximen's Union secretary Shyam Khanvilkar. We are putting up stickers on the cabs to educate passengers about the key dos and don'ts for preventing virus transmission," said Ajay Govale, director-community impact, United Way Mumbai.

'To boost confidence'

"The industry is going through a very bad phase and such a booster is always welcomed to instil a sense of confidence in the drivers and the passengers," Quadros said.
Suryakumar Mishra, a taxi driver, said the guidelines were helpful. "We were guided about the basics of how Coronavirus spreads and transmits. The isolation screens also give a sense of confidence to the passengers on the rear seat," he said.

Another driver, Ramesh Nath, said the anti-COVID-19 kits will be very useful. "I am sure more Mumbaikars will take kaali peelis because of this element of fresh air as not all taxis are air conditioned. With the preventive kit, we shall also remain safe," he added.

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First Published: 14 October, 2020 07:22 IST

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