Tourists junk auto, take bike in Rameswaram- The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

RAMANATHAPURAM: Surging fuel prices and demand for bike rental services are a major fix in left-wing autorickshaw drivers in Rameswaram. Struggling to overcome the downing demand, many autorickshaw drivers are quitting the profession.

According to the trade union, as many as 700 auto rickshaws are plying in the Rameswaram area. The autorickshaw drivers solely rely on earning enough money for tourist services on a daily basis, but the recently popular bike rental services are down to their demand.

AITUC Ramanathapuram District President C Senthilvel said, “On an average, an auto driver can cover up to 100 km of all major tourist attractions, including the Dhasnushkodi till APJ Abdul Kalam memorial, charge up to Rs 1,200. Spend half on fuel and the driver gets only Rs 600. The auto drivers have to pay Rs 300 as lease and they only have Rs 300 at the end of several hours of driving in the summer heat around Rameswaram. ”

He added that to earn an extra amount, these auto drivers have to spend all night getting other tourist rides apart. “More than one petition, a lot of bike rental services are operating across the district. As more and more tourists are driven to such service, the demand for auto rickshaw tour packages has come down dramatically. “The auto-rickshaw drivers that aid the request take to the government,” Senthilvel added.

Munishwaran, an autorickshaw driver, said the surging fuel prices, the auto drivers are forced to meet their costs. However, such an increase in price has not made people opt for autos, he added, adding that they are already a financial crisis due to the pandemic.

A tourist Sathiya Vignesh said, “Considering the costs, many tourists are shifting towards affordable services which are way cheaper.”

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