Vasco: The taxi operators at Dabolim airport are in a dilemma over resumption of their taxi operations in the backdrop of the central government giving nod to recommence domestic flight operations.
The taxi operators have expressed anxiousness over the fact that COVID-19 cases have gone up in the state with people coming in and since their business also implies ferrying people from the airport, they fear they could also contract the infection especially from asymptomatic persons.
As the central government has announced resumption of domestic flight operations from May 25, the taxi operators, who have not plied their taxis for the last two months with the outbreak of COVID-19 and lockdown coming in force, fear that they may also contract the virus from any passenger picked up at Dabolim airport, especially those arriving by flights from states which are in the grip of COVID-19.
Some taxi operators, especially those operating yellow black cabs and affiliated to the United Taximen Union said that “we have not taken any stand whether to resume our taxi operations or keep the taxis off the road with government announcing to restart domestic flight operations from May 25.
“A taxi operator’s life can get jeopardised if he comes in contact with any passenger who has the virus. And if so, the family members of the taxi driver can also contract the virus, besides other taxi operators,” said former president of UTU Sanjay Naik.
“We will see how the situation is for the first ten days. In case, any passenger is tested positive upon arrival, the yellow black taxi operators will not take any risk of ferrying passengers from the airport. We will also see the preparations of the health authorities at the airport,” Naik stated.
He said that in the last two months the taxi operators have faced a lot of financial problems as their flow of income has stopped.
“We hope that COVID-19 goes away, but looking at the trend of rising cases, it appears the disease will not subside so soon. Therefore, we request the state government to announce a financial package and give some relief to the taxi operators,” opined Naik.
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Source:: The Navhind Times