From taxi drivers to tourist bus operators, the lockdown of the tourism sector across the country for more than six months has taken a toll on the livelihood of many. With huge debts piling on them day by day, the stakeholders in this sector have made a desperate plea to the governments to find a solution to their predicament.
The Karuna Taxi Drivers’ Association, with members across the State, said that the six-month moratorium on bank loans was creating more apprehensions than the lack of jobs.
“At the end of the moratorium, huge interests have piled up over our vehicle loans. And if we default on our payments, civil cases await us. Many of us are facing severe depressions and on the verge of suicide”, Vineeth Thalasseri, president of the association said in a press release.
The taxi and tourist bus sector depended hugely on tourism packages and wedding-related trips, besides other party and festival trips, for their survival. With neither happening these days, the sector is in a huge financial crisis. Taxi cars being used for road side vending of fruits, vegetables, and other local produce is a routine sight in the State these days.
The association also complained about the State’s decision to make GPS mandatory for tourist vehicles. “This is to serve some vested interests who are to benefit from the order. If it is the safety of the passengers that the State is concerned about, it should have taken steps to develop its own application for the purpose instead of promoting the private manufacturing companies”, Mr.Vineeth said.
The association has demanded the government to unlock the tourism sector at least partially and to find a solution to their issues at the earliest.
They plan to stage protests across the State soon, if the government failed to respond at the earliest.