Kadapa: The Corona epidemic is hurting all sectors financially. The second wave has put at stake the livelihoods of private taxi owners. After reeling under the first wave, they were just hoping to recoup losses when the second wave hit them hard.
Monthly installments are not being paid as supporting families itself has become difficult. With the people preferring to stay indoors for fear of infections, the business dried up for the cab operators. Vehicles are also not allowed to run after 12 noon.
There are about 1,800 rental vehicles running in the district. Around 3,400 owners and drivers are dependent on them. Desperation has driven many drivers to pursue other employment avenues. With no proper and regular income coming in, they are groaning under the installment burden.
Suresh, the owner of a vehicle in the city, recalled that during this period there would be dearth of vehicles to rent as the wedding season would be in full swing. Scores of vehicle owners are now turning defaulters and being hauled up by finance companies.
A driver, Subhan, said that apart from installments, debts were also piling up as they were having to borrow to sustain their families. In normal times, a driver can hope for 20 days of work in a month. Now there are hardly any. Another driver, Narasimha Yadav, said the Corona had devastated the lives of drivers. He said he was keeping his vehicle at the taxi stand and it would lie idle the whole day. He was going home empty-handed and was dependent on his parents to meet his expenses.