TSCBOA condemns rising attacks on cab drivers, demands stern action

Hyderabad: The Telangana State Cabs & Bus Operators Association (TSCBOA) on Wednesday demanded stern action against those involved in the attacks on cabs and auto-rickshaw drivers in Hyderabad and its outskirts.

“There has been a rise in attacks on cab drivers in different parts of Hyderabad and its outskirts. While some incidents of grievous nature where victims are lodging police complaints are getting noticed, many incidents go unnoticed. The cab drivers are being beaten or threatened by some unruly passengers over minor disputes like payment mode or lack of change,” TSCBOA President Syed Nizamuddin said in a media statement.

The TSCBOA President said that many Ola and Uber drivers have complained of sporadic incidents of physical assaults on them by some unruly passengers. While many drivers ignore these incidents, treating them as routine and part of ‘occupational hazards’, few drivers have reported the matter to the Ola and Uber management. Since neither the drivers nor their management does a proper follow-up, the attackers go scot-free,” he alleged.

Referring to the attack on a cab driver in Alkapuri Colony under Narsingi Police Station limits about two days ago, he said that the driver was not only attacked by a gang, but it also robbed him of cash. A similar attack took place in the second week of August in Rajendranagar Police limits wherein the driver was brutally beaten up by a group of youngsters. They also beat up the cab owner who rushed to the spot after learning about the attack. Such incidents are highly intolerable, he said.

“All of us give top priority to road safety and insist that both the vehicle and its driver are in perfect condition. We should give equal importance to the safety of the drivers,” he said while adding that all the drivers hail from poor families and they sacrifice their comfort and night sleep to earn bread and butter for their families. They deserve more respect and care as they serve the passengers by taking them to their destinations at odd hours and in unfavourable weather conditions. Most of the time, they are forced to carry passengers who are in highly intoxicated conditions. Therefore, he said it was the duty of the authorities and also the common people to ensure that the drivers feel safe while discharging their duties.Syed Nizamuddin said that the TSCBOA was planning to start a 24×7 Helpline to deal with cases of attacks on cab and auto drivers. He said the modalities of the proposed Helpline would be finalised at the general body meeting of the TSCBOA to be held in the third week of September. Further, he said, a representation would be made with the State Government for enacting a separate law for the safety of cab drivers. “Over one lakh cab and auto drivers are operating in Hyderabad and its surroundings. If anyone gets attacked, they get no compensation for the damage caused to their vehicle and they are forced to bear the cost of treatment. A single attack ruins the entire life of a driver and his family. Therefore, there must be some support from the government in case they meet with an accident or face attacks. Further, those attacking the drivers must face serious legal consequences. This can only be made possible only through new legislation,” he said. (INN)

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