New Yearâ€™s Eve celebrations for hundreds of Hyderabad residents are set to take a hit, as a shortage of taxi services is expected, after several thousand taxi drivers have stopped plying in the city till January 4.
The drivers, under the Telangana Cab Drivers and Owners Association (TCDOA), have stated that they will not resume services until their demands with respect to taxi aggregators like Ola and Uber are met.
Speaking to the media, the TCDOA claimed that around 90,000 of the total 1.2 lakh cabs in the city were running under Ola and Uber.
Speaking to TNM, the associationâ€™s president, Shiva Vulkundakar said, "These cab aggregators are cheating the drivers. We will not stay silent."
This comes a day after frustrated drivers of Ola Cabs, who were seeking alleged overdue payments and more bookings, attacked the companyâ€™s office at Kukatpally.
There are several problems that the taxi drivers association has demanded be resolved.
Drivers allege that the managements of Ola and Uber have signed on more driver-cum-owners than the total requirement, in order to compete with each other and show themselves as the largest cab operator in the city, at least on paper.
After depending heavily on driver-cum-owners, Shiva says, Ola started getting its own vehicles, following which existing taxi drivers are not getting a sufficient number of bookings.
This has led to the existing drivers being unable to meet the targets set by the company, and also resulted in a steep decline in their earnings, Shiva claimed.
â€śWe demand that new cabs and leased cars should not be added to the list, unless the existing cars are provided with a guaranteed number of bookings everyday," Shiva says.
"The managements should give us at least 12 guaranteed bookings during peak hours for the first five years of each cab,â€ť he added.
"When such a situation happens, and we go to the police station to book a complaint, we hardly have any details about the customers. The company stores most of the information, but it is tough to get them to cooperate," Shiva says.
"We also want our rights as drivers. When an incident like that happens, we want a number that we can call, so that someone from the company comes and sees that the problem is addressed," he adds.
The association has organised several protest programs till January 4, following which it plans to hold talks again.
"If they don't give in to our demands, we will continue the protest," Shiva adds.