BENGALURU: The election of Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy as the Chief Minister has a large section of the city’s taxi drivers cheering. With Kumaraswamy taking over the reigns of the state, many drivers are hopeful that he would pay attention to their plight as they work with major taxi aggregators and are making only a small pittance every month even as the companies raise fares for customers.
One of the main reasons for the raised hopes is the interest Kumaraswamy has taken in the interests of taxi drivers in the city in the past. The JD(S) leader has attended protests by drivers, fought for their cause with the Transport Department and had also announced that he would support the creation of a new cab company which would charge fixed fares and ensure drivers got many benefits. Consequently, Namma TYGR, a company funded partly by the JD(S), was launched. However, with no licence issued by the Transport Department, it was targeted and a few cabs were seized forcing it to shut operations.
Now, there is talk of revival. “The company halted operations due to two issues. One was the Transport Department not issuing licence and the second was some funding requirements not being met,” Tanveer Pasha, former president, Uber, TaxiForSure And Ola Drivers’ Association, said. Namma TYGR is expected to apply for a licence with the Transport Department shortly.
Accordingly, a delegation is seeking to meet the new CM in the next 10 days to draw his attention to the issue. Another idea which drivers are hoping to discuss with the CM is the starting of a government-owned company which would offer taxi aggregator services. “A fixed fare solution by the government would be a great solution,” said Kaushik Chatterjee, a resident of Indiranagar.