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Delhi Auto-rickshaw Drivers Express Happiness Over Lockdown Easing, Demand Relief Package

Auto-drivers who arrived at New Delhi Railway station on Tuesday expressed happiness over Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's decision to resume public transport

lockdown

As the nation continues to grapple with the COVID-19 health crisis, the government has extended the lockdown to May 31 while giving further relaxations in the lockdown. Cabs, taxis, auto-rickshaws, e-rickshaws and other forms of public transport will now be allowed to operate across the country except in containment zones, as per the revised guidelines issued by the Centre. However, the Centre has given discretionary powers to the state governments to prolong the restrictions if necessary.

The Delhi government, however, has allowed the public transport to resume services after the centre's revised guidelines.  Following the decision, auto-drivers who arrived at the New Delhi Railway station early morning on Tuesday expressed happiness over Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's decision; they, however, also expressed displeasure over the restriction of being allowed to carry just one passenger.

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"It is a great decision by the government and it will help us in to earn some money after close to two months of the shutdown of services. However, the decision to allow just one passenger at a time should be reconsidered. Suppose a family of two wants a mode of transport, can they take an auto? This rule should be tweaked," Anil Prasad, an auto driver, told ANI.

The General Secretary of Delhi Auto-Rickshaw Union, Rajinder Soni too thanked the Centre and Delhi government for their decision. He also demanded a relief package for them, along with tweaking of the guidelines to enable the drivers to ferry more passengers on each ride.

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Though the public transport has been resumed in Delhi, the national capital will have a list of things shut as the lockdown 4.0 continues till May 31. Among the list of things that'll remain shut are metro rail service, school, college, coaching and training institutes, hotels, cinema halls, shopping mall, gyms, swimming pool, bars, entertainment parks, theatres, assembly halls and auditoriums. Social, political, sports, academic, cultural, religious or any other type of mass gathering will not be allowed and places of worship shall remain closed.

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