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Lockdown-hit auto drivers seek govt help

By CITY Correspondent

GUWAHATI, July 17 - The Guwahati Auto-rickshaw Owners� Association has appealed to the State government to provide financial aid to the auto-rickshaw drivers and owners of the city.

The association today presented memorandums to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary in this regard.

�As the entire country, including Guwahati, is under lockdown since March 24, the auto-rickshaw drivers and owners have been worst-affected by it. We are finding it extremely difficult to make ends meet. Many educated youth from various parts of the State are engaged in this profession for many years. In this situation, repayment of loans has become a heavy burden on us,� said president of Guwahati Auto-rickshaw Owners� Association Yusuf Ahmed.

The association on April 27 submitted a memorandum to the Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner seeking help.

�We approached the DC regarding our financial crisis in the initial period of the lockdown but failed to get any response from him till date. The owners and drivers are in psychological distress as they have been jobless for the past four months,� he added.

Although the government is taking measures to ease the miseries of the working class people during the lockdown, people in the transportation sector here is yet to benefit from it.

Around 22,000 drivers of four-wheeler commercial vehicles are also reeling under acute financial hardship. A large number of bus drivers and handymen have opted for other means of income after remaining jobless for around four months. Even some bus owners are planning to sell their vehicles as it has become impossible for them to remain in the business under the prevailing situation.

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