Even as much of the national capital existed behind closed doors- much like the rest of the country- during the worst period of the pandemic, circa 2020, there were many of us who moved about comfortably during times of need from inside the comfort of our safe four wheelers. The same could be said about those who commuted, when necessary, on bikes and scooters.
But since there was hardly any traffic on roads with the city persisting with the national lockdown which lasted for almost over a quarter of a year, there was hardly any business for Delhi-bound autos and taxi drivers.
Used to Chauffeur passengers on a daily basis whether in auto rickshaws or taxis, there are tens of hundreds in Delhi for whom that is the only means of earning a living. But with COVID 19 imposing a direct restriction of movement, it was nothing short of a disguised or semi-state of unemployment for our taxi and auto drivers in Delhi.
But now, the honourable Delhi government has come forward to assist those who are truly in dire straits and have seen better days in the past. So the key question is- how is the Delhi govt. going to support those auto and taxi drivers whose businesses were severely affected?
But up first, it’s worthwhile to note that several public and private transport services operate in the national capital, including- autorickshaws, e-rickshaws, taxis, phat-phat sewa, grameen sewa, Maxi cabs as well as eco-friendly sewa.
And in this regard, as on this Friday, i.e., May 14, the Delhi Cabinet approved a financial aid of Rs 5000 to all holders of Public Service Badge, i.e., drivers of para-transit vehicles and permit-holders of para-transit public service vehicles.
Although, according to fresh figures from the Delhi Govt., in 2020 alone, financial aid worth 78 crores- which happens to be no small amount- was extended to several taxi/auto drivers.
But the current financial assistance, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announced, was a one-time financial support being extended to the city’s auto/taxi drivers.
That being said, here’s something important that the Delhi government shared in the context of the financial aid:
“Beneficiaries of the 2020 scheme need not reapply but will get the Rs 5000 directly transferred to their Aadhar linked bank accounts subject to verification of deaths from local bodies,” said the Chief Minister.
Furthermore, here’s more detailed information as published on Business Standard on the important story:
According to Delhi Government, as many as 1,56,350 owners of para-transit vehicles in Delhi had benefitted from both the schemes and were provided total financial assistance to the tune of Rs 78 Crores.
Also Read: Lockdown Extended By Another Week In Delhi!
The validity of documents including PSV Badge, permit, driving license, etc of all public service vehicles have been extended periodically since March 2020, as per orders by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), Government of India. The recent extension is till June 30, and all the holders of the Driving license and PSV badge that are valid as of February 1, 2020, are eligible to receive financial assistance. However, similar to the last scheme, this benefit will only be extended to individual owners of para-transit vehicles and not to companies owning vehicle fleets.
To sum it up, it’s heartening to note that during such a difficult time for those who work in not such a privileged capacity as many of us are being looked after by the Delhi Govt. For if help would not have come now, then would it even matter?