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    Taxi drivers adversely affected in J-K's Srinagar amid COVID lockdown


    Srinagar, May 9: As COVID-19 restrictions continue in Jammu and Kashmir, people involved in the taxi business in Srinagar have been facing difficulty due to the lockdown imposed by the government to curb the coronavirus.

    The majority of the people remained confined to their houses as strict restrictions continued for the ninth successive day on Saturday in view of the extension of the 'COVID curfew' once again till May 10 following surge in the number of fresh infections.

    Shahzad, an owner of a tourist taxi in the area told ANI, that the workers were hit the most during the lockdown period and the government should think about it.

    "This lockdown affects workers like us the most. Those who work in any company or the government sector are getting their salary on time but the labourers are hit badly in this period. The government should think about it and make some way so that they also should earn their living," Shahzad said.

    He further mentioned that the people like him have been facing similar problems for the last few years.

    "Earlier, when there was the restriction during abrogation of Article 370 period in the Valley, we had faced a similar issue. Later the first wave of coronavirus came and now due to the second wave we are at the same stage. I urge the government to give a solution," he said.

    While another driver Majeem said that the government has to think that we have also our basic expenditure. "How can we run our houses without money? I request it to provide some relaxation in the lockdown period," he said.

    "There are around 200-250 taxis standing idle at Lal Chowk taxi stand. The owners of these have to pay their EMI. The bank will not waive off the EMIs. How can I manage to do that in this period," he added.

    However, essential services were exempted from the lockdown in the Valley, where 602 people have been fined and over 100 others have been arrested for violating Covid curfew and other guidelines in the last 24 hours on Saturday, as per an official statement.

    A slew of measures, including the imposition of Section 144 have been put in place to contain the spread of the virus.

    Jammu and Kashmir currently have 44,307 active COVID-19 cases, as per the union health ministry. A total of 1,60,035 recoveries and 2,612 deaths have been reported so far.—(ANI)

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