KOCHI: Food delivery people’s earnings have taken a hit with the sharp increase in fuel prices across the nation. With the rising fuel prices, many of them are forced to spend a huge amount to meet their fuel expenses. In Kochi, the price of a litre of petrol has increased from Rs 84 in January 2021 to Rs 115.18 now. As per the rough estimate, nearly 10,000 food delivery people are employed in the district. According to them, they spend roughly Rs 9,000–12,000 each month to cover their fuel costs.
“Each day, I have to fill up to three litres of petrol, which costs around Rs 350. The total monthly fuel expense will be around Rs 9,000. It was around Rs 6,000 last year. For the fuel expense, we have to shed a major portion of the revenue. Since it is difficult to get another job here, I am forced to do the job of a delivery boy,” said Sadak Ansari, a Bihar native.
The delivery boys have to travel nearly 200-300km in city traffic each day to deliver the food orders to the customers. “Everyday, I have to deliver over 20 food orders to the customers. If we couldn’t do that, our earnings would be very low. So, we are forced to travel 200-300km per day to meet our daily target. If the amount we spent on fuel was around Rs 7,000 last year, we are now spending more than Rs 10,000,” said Rakesh, a BTech graduate and a Kochi resident who joined the online food delivery job in 2020.
According to the food delivery person, companies such as Swiggy and Zomato should provide more incentives to cope with the hike in fuel expenses.
“At present, we have to deliver nearly 20 food packets a day to get Rs 1,000. From this, we have to spend Rs 350 on fuel. If the companies could provide some incentives, we would be able to deal with the crisis. The government should also intervene in the matter,” said Manikandan, Aluva-based online food delivery person.
Meanwhile, several people have shifted from motorcycles to bicycles, mainly after the hike in petrol prices. “I have rented a Kochi Metro bicycle, which costs only Rs 700 per month, to deliver food packets to the customers. If I am using a motorcycle, I will have to spend a huge amount on fuel,” said Vasudev, an Andhra Pradesh native.