Signaling the gradual exit from the lockdown amid soaring high cases, the Tamil Nadu state government has, on Friday, announced fresh relaxations on the existing restrictions in which it has permitted the resumption of auto and cycle rickshaws from May 23- Saturday as part of resuming the transportation channels.
The decision to permit the resumption has come when the state had seen various protests from the auto-rickshaw drivers urging the government to lift the ban and restrictions. According to the government's order, the auto-rickshaws can resume the services in non-containment areas in the state and they have been directed to carry one passenger for a ride from 7 am to 7 pm across the state.
However, the order of resumption won't applicable for Chennai, the areas that fall under the limits of Chennai police, and the containment zones across the state as these areas would continue to stay under the radar of restrictions till May 31st and the reports stated that the drivers from the containment areas aren't permitted to operate the rickshaws.
The drivers and the passengers have been instructed to wear masks and the driver should provide sanitizer for the passenger and the vehicles must be disinfected at least thrice a day and they have also been advised to follow the safety protocols.
Auto-rickshaw transportation is one of the major channels that have been suspended since March 24 in the wake of the lockdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the lockdown has brought the economy to a standstill with major hurt and financial stress due to the suspension of the industries and major players. After having been shut nearly for two months, the rickshaws have been permitted to ply with certain restrictions.
The state of Tamil Nadu has been going through the fourth phase of the lockdown since last week and it will be in place till May 31st as the state has been witnessing the sharpest rise in COVID-19 cases with more cases in Chennai which has been the attribution of keeping the city under the restrictions with the functioning of essential and emergency services.