THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Karyavattom-native Sunil SS used to provide cab services for some of the major companies in Technopark. However, his vehicles haven’t hit the roads ever since the companies began the work-from-home system.
Like Sunil, cab, autorickshaw and bus drivers in the city have been without any work for the past one-and-half years as techies started working remotely and students attending online classes. As companies are slowly planning to resume work from the office, Sunil is now hopeful.
“The authorities concerned of various companies have informed us that they might resume work from the office in November. We have started preparations for resuming our services by installing plastic screen partitions between the front and rear seats and keeping sanitisers in every vehicle. Though it will take some time to get back to normal, we hope to make up for all losses,” says Sunil, who has been working as a driver for the past seven years.
Sunil is now planning to start the maintenance work on his vehicles. “Besides this, insurance and tax payments also will have to be taken care of,” he says. Over 1,000 autorickshaw drivers who went out of work in the city are also eagerly awaiting the reopening of offices.
“It’s still uncertain if employees will be willing to take public transportation. But we hope that reopening of offices will help bring us some business,” says Sajith Kumar, an auto driver who used to ferry more than 100 employees daily to and from Technopark.
Meanwhile, many drivers from the city are waiting for a reply from the authorities concerned to resume their services. As schools and colleges will reopen in the coming months, the school bus drivers have received instructions on the safety arrangements required before resuming services.
School authorities are doubtful about resuming bus services as the vehicles were kept off the road for a long time and new government guidelines allow only one student per seat. “Though the school authorities are planning to resume classes offline from November, they are yet to decide about transportation of the children. I have been taking small rides around the city to sustain my family.
Although all the staff have been fully vaccinated, we are waiting for a reply from school authorities regarding resuming services,” said Unnikrishnan K R, who has been a school bus driver for the past 15 years.