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Coronavirus crisis: Inter-district travel restrictions deal heavy blow to Pune cab drivers

The livelihood of several cab drivers in Maharashtra’s Pune has taken a hit as the inter-district movement continues to remain restricted for almost four months now in the state due to COVID-19 crisis.

Sanjay Nandan Pawar, President of Manav Vikas Cab Sangathan, Maharashtra, said that the government did not even think about the cab drivers before extending the lockdown.

“It’s been four months now and our business is shut. We have also sold the jewellery we had in order to earn our livelihood,” he added.

“It is difficult to manage our expenses as the business has been affected completely. Moreover, we have now started getting calls from banks for EMI’s,” a cab driver said.

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Another driver, Praveen Narayan said that his cab was parked at his place since March, when the nationwide lockdown was imposed, following which he has not earned much. He had also used up all his savings and has now borrowed money from others to survive amid the current situation.

“Earlier I used to get at least 20 trips in a month but now I get only one or two trips in a month by from which I hardly earn Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 in a month. It is difficult to run our livelihood with this income. Apart from this customer refuse to pay return fare when they apply E pass for travel, with this many customers even avoid travelling as they need to pay a double fair and apply for passes to travel from one place to other,” said another cab driver.

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Coronavirus in Maharashtra

Maharashtra has reported 9,601 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the tally of confirmed cases to 4,31,719, state health department data showed.

The death toll rose to 15,316 after 322 patients succumbed to COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, in the last 24 hours. The case fatality rate in the state stands at 3.55%, way above the country’s 2.15%.

Meanwhile, 10,725 patients were discharged after recovery in the same period, taking the number of recovered cases to 2,66,883. The recovery rate in Maharashtra is now 61.82%, as against the nation’s 64.53%. The number of active cases in the state stands at 1,49,214.

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