Demanding extension of the moratorium on loan repayment and a hike in fare in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, around 2 lakh drivers of cab aggregators Ola and Uber in Delhi-NCR have gone on a strike from Tuesday. Also Read - Around 75% Employees Across 8 Indian Cities Willing to Continue Work From Home: ASSOCHAM Survey
The striking cab drivers will assemble at Mandi House later in the day to press for their demands, including an extension of the moratorium on EMI payment till December, an increase in fares and withdrawal of speeding violation penalties, said Kamaljeet Singh Gill, the president of the Sarvodaya Drivers Association of Delhi. Also Read - Iodine Solution, Most Effective Way to Completely Inactivate Novel Coronavirus, Says Study
“Due to the acute financial crisis caused by lockdown, drivers are unable to pay their EMIs. The moratorium of loan repayment ended today and the banks are already putting pressure on us. Drivers are scared that banks will tow away their vehicles for not paying EMIs,” Gill said. Also Read - Brucellosis Outbreak: Why India Needs to Take Precautions Right Away
The cab drivers have also demanded that fare be hiked and commission increased by Ola and Uber. Gill said the fare should be fixed by the government instead of the cab aggregators.
“Most of the drivers are finding it difficult to feed their families at this time and have no means to fulfil their financial obligations. Unless the government helps us, there is no way we can work without fear of losing our vehicles,” Gill said.
The drivers have also demanded the withdrawal of “heavy penalties” against them for speed limit violations.
The strike may cause hardships to a large number of commuters as Metro train services are yet to resume and the public transport buses are running at reduced capacity because of social distancing norms.
The strike may pose challenges especially for commuters, including students who are to appear in the IIT-JEE Mains exam beginning on Tuesday.
No reaction was immediately available from Ola or Uber about the impact of the strike on their services.
(With PTI inputs)