Amid the growing uncertainties over resumption of transport services in the state, the AITUC-affiliated taxi operators under the West Bengal Taxi Operators’ Coordination Committee have asked the state government for financial assistance for their members.
As the lockdown continues, the transport operators including owners of buses, taxis, online app cabs, auto-rickshaws and pool cars are apprehensive about recovering from the immense losses they are suffering as the vehicles are under complete halt owing to the nationwide lockdown.
The suspension of the public transport system for an unprecedented period following the lockdown to prevent the spread of corona virus, has brought additional worries for the taxi operators’ of the state.
“Our operators are daily wage earners and under the current situation we are finding it very difficult to survive,” said Nawal Kishore Shrivastav, convener of the West Bengal Taxi Operators’ Coordination Committee.
“Although the chief minister Mamata Banerjee has announced Rs.1,000, which is welcomed by us, it is unlikely to bring any relief to the operators in the present scenario. We, therefore, have urged the state transport minister and other officials to provide us with a financial aid of Rs 10,000 to each of us. Also, we have requested to grant us the amount by 1 April, as if we wait for government offices to resume work, it will be too long for us to survive,” added the convener of the organisation that has around 6,700 taxis operating under it.
Voicing similar concerns, the truck operators of the state, yesterday, have also written to the state authorities, demanding a waiver of taxes, CF, and permit charges. The operators working under the Federation of West Bengal Truck Operators’ Associations are demanding the waiver for the next six months.
“Many truck operators are unable to cope with the financial losses due to the lock down,” claimed Sajal Ghosh, secretary of the federation. “We are unable to pay the charges in the form of taxes, CF and permit. We have asked the state authorities to waive the charges for the truck operators of the state,” he said.