The Telangana State Taxi and Drivers Joint Action Committee has appealed to the state government authorities to stop unauthorised private operators from setting up illegal pick-up points on the outskirts of Hyderabad and ferrying people from the city to their native places across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, taking advantage of the Dussehra rush.
“This not only affects the business of taxis and cabs, and the state’s revenue, but also there is no accountability for the safety of the passengers,” said Sheikh Salauddin, the chairman of the group, adding that several taxi drivers are unable to pay EMIs or update vehicle insurance and are in severe crisis. “They are unable to support their families,” he added.
In a representation to the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) Managing Director V C Sajjanar, Salauddin requested strict action against such private operators who have neither valid approvals nor pay requisite taxes but make swift business during festivals. Salauddin pointed out that important highway intersections such as Aramghar Crossroad, L B Nagar, Uppal, Shamshabad, Lingampally etc. have become hubs of such businesses that continue unabated every year. “We seek appropriate action as per the Motor Vehicles Act,” he said.
Sajjanar had recently tweeted that “it was an offence to pick up passengers in vehicles with white number plates”.
Given that lakhs of passengers commute out of Hyderabad during Dussehra, the TSRTC has arranged for 4,198 special buses. The corporation, a statement said, was ready to handle up to 1.5 lakh passengers per day.
Meanwhile, the South Central Railway (SCR) has pressed into service six special trains to handle the festival rush. These special trains will do two services between Hyderabad and Yashwantpur, and four services between Nanded and Kakinada town from October 4 to 11, stopping at important stations.