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Increase in number of Covid Cases may Hamper Mobility Sector

Increase in number of Covid Cases may Hamper Mobility Sector
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Increase in number of Covid Cases may Hamper Mobility Sector

Highlights

The Indian mobility sector, including autos, cabs, bikes and taxis have recovered nearing to 69% with 78 million rides in the month of March with pre-Covid levels, but the second wave of Covid has become road block and the halted the path of recovery

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The Indian mobility sector, including autos, cabs, bikes and taxis have recovered nearing to 69% with 78 million rides in the month of March with pre-Covid levels, but the second wave of Covid has become road block and the halted the path of recovery.

Consequently, with States including Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Delhi, Telangana, Haryana, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh are in lockdown mode and even others have been imposing night curfews and travel restrictions, the RedSeer Consulting stated, the recovery of the mobility sector is most likely to drop about 30 to 40% in the next coming few months.

Tanveer Pasha, former president of Ola and Uber Drivers Association has said, we are dependent on our vehicles for our livelihood and we lead a hand to mouth existence, we rely on our daily earnings for survival. The Government must understand our plight and should offer us interest waiver on our vehicle loans and also protect us from recovery agents/ financier's goons and offer us free medicines as well as groceries.

Few vehicle drivers of Ola and Uber, has stated, that their vehicles have been repossessed as they defaulted on their EMIs. Most of the drivers have returned to their native villages and some of them have taken up miscellaneous jobs to earn their livelihood.

Last year, during the National Government, we were offered support, by providing loan moratorium as well as e-pass facility for intercity as well as interstate travel, but this time, nothing is forthcoming during this present lockdown. K.Radhakrishna Holla, President of Karnataka State Travel Operators Association, Which represents more than 2.5 lakh taxis, tourist vehicles as well as corporate on-call service vehicle has stated, due to Corona Pandemic, corporate have been working from home, hence, we have no business from them either.

Bus Transport

Even the bus segment, which has been primary mobility option for the common people, has recovered sharply during the month of November to December 2020 and also exceeded pre-Covid levels in the month of January/February; it is also expected to be hit badly.

Rohit Sharma, COO, Abhibus.com, which is an online e-ticketing platform, which aggregates solutions to nearing to 3,000 private bus operators as well as State Road Transport Corporation has stated, till March 20th, we were clocking nearing to 20,000 transactions each day, which has been now reduced to 7,000 transactions. Even RTC has been witnessing a decrease in their volume of buses about 85% and private bus operators have witnessed decrease in volumes nearing to 75%.

As of mid-January 2021, 10 to 15% of private bus operators have shut down operations. It would increase more than 30 to 40% because this time, the impact of the second Covid wave would be much more worse when compared to last year.

Praskah Samgam, CEO, redBus, feels there is greater need for the government to step forward with differential policy to support badly hit sectors such as mobility. How can the bus operators be expected to pay their EMI's and accrued interest, even for those period, when they are not running buses? He has asked.

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