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    HomeHyderabadRural auto wallahs experience financial strain as women are offered free bus...

    Rural auto wallahs experience financial strain as women are offered free bus rides

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    The Congress government in Telangana has implemented the Mahalakshmi scheme, which offers free bus rides to women. This has had a bigger impact on auto drivers in rural areas compared to those in urban centers like Hyderabad.

    Women in the countryside, who are more conscious of their spending, are now choosing to take the free bus rides instead of using services like sharing autos. In contrast, the impact of the free bus service for women in the city is small.

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    According to the Telangana Auto Drivers Welfare Samakhya, the impact of the scheme is about 50% in rural areas and 20% in Hyderabad. Even though other transportation options are available, women in villages prefer to wait for the free bus rides.

    Also read:  Petrol bunks in Mahabubnagar raided by Legal Metrology Department

    Auto drivers argue that the losses from the free ride scheme are yet to be properly analyzed in Hyderabad. However, they are facing more losses from illegal bike app-based 2-wheeler taxis. They criticize the authorities for not properly regulating these bikes, which are running without proper registration.

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    The auto drivers in the city have threatened to go on strike due to the decrease in their income. They suggest that the government should immediately roll out a scheme to provide Rs 12,000 annual financial aid to auto drivers.

    They also blame bike taxis for violating the Motor Vehicle Act. They argue that the government banned bike taxis not only because of this violation but also due to the lack of guidelines for their regulation. Safety concerns were cited as drivers may drive fast to complete more trips, leading to accidents.

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