UPSRTC to charge ₹10,000 for taxi rides from Delhi airport to Noida, Ghaziabad
The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) will facilitate those wanting to travel from India Gandhi International Airport to Noida and Ghaziabad -- but at an exorbitantly heavy cost. Be ready to shell out as much as ₹10,000 for a taxi ride from the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) to any destination within a 250km radius.
While scores of people are stranded at different places and struggling to reach home due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the minimum cost of booking a taxi of the UPSRTC will be ₹10,000 for sedans and ₹12,000 for an SUV. Any additional distance, beyond the 250km, will incur additional charges. If your pockets don't run so deep, the corporation's buses will ply you, for a minimum of ₹1,000 per seat in non air-conditioned bus and for ₹1,320 per seat in air-conditioned bus for a distance of up to 100km.
UPSRTC managing director Raj Shekhar, on May 9, issued a letter to the corporation's regional managers in Noida and Ghaziabad, informing them that they will facilitate the travel of residents -- brought back from foreign countries under the Vande Bharat Mission -- from Delhi airport to Noida and Ghaziabad and other nearby areas. "The corporation will provide buses and taxis at the airport. Those people who would be cleared by the Delhi government to travel and have no symptoms of Covid-19, can avail of this service," the letter said.
The letter adds that booking a taxi for up to 250 km from the airport would cost ₹10,000. "Each additional kilometre would cost ₹40. Booking an SUV would cost ₹12,000 for first 250km and ₹50 for each additional kilometre," it said. Besides the driver, only two persons can sit in the taxi," it further stated.
A single seat in a non air-conditioned bus would cost ₹1,000 and a seat in an air-conditioned bus would cost ₹1,320 for 100km. The charges would double for any distance 101-200km. The buses will accommodate a maximum of 26 persons, in order to maintain social distancing. At present, all people brought back from foreign countries are kept in 14-day quarantine in Delhi. Once they complete the quarantine period, the transport department would facilitate their travel to Noida, Ghaziabad and other cities.
AK Singh, regional manager, UPSRTC, Ghaziabad, said he has received the letter. "At present, we engage our buses to ferry passengers from Delhi airport to different hotels and quarantine centres in Delhi. We have received the order from the headquarters to ferry returnees in buses and taxis. They will be transported as per the directions of the Delhi government and Ghaziabad administration," he said.
Singh did not comment on the high fare structure, except to say that it was decided by the headquarters. "We have received information that stranded people are sometimes fleeced by truck drivers and others promising lifts. Such commuting is also unsafe while the government initiative is safe," he said.
Anurag Yadav, assistant regional manager, UPSRTC, Noida, said until now some UPSRTC buses have ferried migrant people from Noida to other districts of Uttar Pradesh as well as to other states, on the directions of district administration.
"The services to transport migrant workers were free of cost. Now, we have received a letter from the headquarters to ply buses and taxis from the Delhi airport. We will take suitable measures once the administration gives us the nod," he said.
KK Jain, general secretary, FONRWA, criticised the exorbitant fares and said it will further burden travellers. "We used to commute from Noida to IGIA for ₹800 before the lockdown. A fare of ₹10,000 for a single trip to Noida or Ghaziabad is too much. The government should reconsider the fare structure to help people who are already troubled by the lockdown the coronavirus spread," he said.
(Inputs and image from hindustantimes.com)