One of the worst affected sections of the society in the recent devastation caused by unprecedented floods in the GHMC area is the auto and cab drivers. Many cab and auto drivers, who either own or rent vehicles or took the vehicles on EMIs are among the worst affected. Their vehicles have gone beyond repair on one hand and on the other, the owners and the lenders are demanding their daily or monthly installments regardless of their condition.
There are about 12 lakh auto and cab drivers, most of who are from the lower economic backgrounds. Of them, some 5.50 lakh persons ply rented three and four wheelers. They have to pay daily amounts to the owners of the vehicles. According to estimates, over 8500 vehicles belonging to them have been swept away by the floods. Of them, around 5000 are cabs, while the remaining are three-wheelers. Some 1.50 lakh vehicles were damaged due to drowning. They require considerable sums to get repaired.
Already battered and badgered, the auto drivers do not have the financial wherewithal to make daily payments and spend the amounts for the repairs. Most of the cab drivers also have to spend for the repairs of the damaged houses and property. The auto and cab drivers are now looking for some help or a bailout from the Government.