Bengaluru: Troubled by low income, cab driver set himself ablaze, dies

By: |
March 31, 2021 4:12 PM

On Tuesday evening, Pratap had set himself on fire near the passenger pick-up area at the Kempegowda International Airport.

Cab drivers gathered in front of Bengaluru airport to protest discounted fares offered by private online cab aggregators. (representational picture by Reuters)

 

Bengaluru: A day after a cab driver set himself ablaze at Bengaluru International Airport, most drivers decided to stay off roads on Wednesday. The driver, later identified as Pratap hailing from Ramanagara district, succumbed to 70 per cent burn injury this morning. After a preliminary probe, police found that Pratap was in financial trouble and was unable to pay back loans for his car attached to KSTDC (Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation).

Following the incident, cab drivers gathered in front of Bengaluru airport to protest discounted fares offered by private online cab aggregators, according to The Indian Express.

Speaking to IE, Tanveer Pasha, President of Karnataka Ola, Uber Drivers and Owners Association said that it was unfortunate that they had started to lose their own people to the unprecedented rise in fuel prices and inflation. “Striking a balance to get enough money for a living has been a challenge since lockdown hit us last year but we have hardly recovered since then,” Pasha said.

Pasha, as per the report, also highlighted that private online cab services were offering trips at discounted prices. Even drivers, he said, who drive for private online cab aggregators were facing an impact as the pay they get after each trip had reduced due to the change in tariffs, introduced to capture the market. “We had demanded the state government to introduce a uniform tariff system for all taxicabs but our appeal is yet to be addressed,” Pasha told IE.

On Tuesday evening, Pratap had set himself on fire near the passenger pick-up area at the Kempegowda International Airport. He had locked himself in his car before pouring petrol over himself and lighting a match, the report said citing police officials. The driver had suffered from serious burns by the time other drivers and Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting officers rushed to the spot to distinguish the fire and take him to a hospital.

“After primary investigation, we have got to know that he was in financial trouble unable to pay back loans for his car attached to KSTDC,” a police officer was quoted as saying IE.

In a tweet, the Bengaluru airport said that taxi services at the airport were impacted. “Passengers are requested to use the BMTC bus service for travel to and from BLR Airport or make their own travel arrangements,” it said.

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