In an open letter addressed to LG V K Saxena and the Delhi government, Apna Bike Taxi Association accused authorities of turning a deaf ear to their grievances
The Association claimed that the bike taxi drivers neither have the money to buy ebikes nor are there EVs available in the market
The recently approved Delhi Motor Vehicle Aggregator and Delivery Service Provider Scheme, 2023 allows only electric bike taxis to ply on the roads
More than 50,000 bike taxi drivers have been rendered jobless in the national capital on account of Delhi government’s proposed aggregator policy, as per a bike taxi union.
In an open letter addressed to Lt Governor (LG) V K Saxena and the Delhi government, the Apna Bike Taxi Association accused authorities of turning a deaf ear to their grievances.
The union claimed that the upcoming policy, which allows only fully-electric bike taxis to ply on the roads, has left many in the lurch.
“In the past, everyone felt bad when big companies such as Amazon and Facebook fired thousands of employees. Today, we want to affirm that the Delhi government has not done anything different to us. Delhi government and the Transport Department have left 50,000 bike taxi drivers unemployed,” read the letter.
The Association claimed that despite multiple appeals to the authorities to address the grievances of the bike taxi drivers, no action has been taken. It said 4,000 drivers filed appeals before the LG office in October alone, and added that the policy was drafted without seeking their opinion or consensus.
Training guns at the short timeline for the implementation of the new policy, the Association claimed that bike taxi drivers neither have the money to buy ebikes nor are there EVs available in the market.
“We feel that the government should understand that if someone is riding a petrol motorcycle, how can they suddenly get an electric bike. Neither are there electric bike taxis available in the market nor do we have the money to buy them,” the letter added.
At the heart of the matter is the much touted Delhi Motor Vehicle Aggregator and Delivery Service Provider Scheme, 2023 which aims to regulate cab aggregators and delivery service providers in the national capital.
The policy has set timelines for complete electrification of the fleets of aggregator and delivery platforms. However, bike taxis will only be allowed to ply on the roads if they are completely electric.
After Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal approved the policy in October this year, the LG also recently gave his assent to the proposed law. This sparked a flurry of criticism from bike taxis unions, which claimed that livelihoods of petrol bike taxi drivers would be impacted by the mandates.
Just last month, more than 1,500 bike taxi drivers shot off a letter to the LG seeking extension of timelines, on the lines of their counterparts in the delivery space, for conversion of fleet to electric.
Lauding the intent to transition to EVs and reduce pollution, the drivers said harsh measures such as allowing only EV bike taxis in the national capital would snatch away their livelihoods.