Exultation eluded the autorickshaw drivers at major towns in Thanjavur district on Saturday, the first day after lifting of the ban on operation of autorickshaws during the lockdown period, as most them had to idle their time at their respective stands looking for customers.
Karthick of Thanjavur left his home around 6.30 a.m. to reach his stand opposite to the Old Bus Stand so as to be ready to serve the customers during the 12-hour-time slot fixed by the State government for the operation of autorickshaws. But much to his dismay, he could not able to get any a customer even beyond noon.
The trip sheet maintained at the stand remained almost empty of entries, he said and added that on normal days the sheet would be filled with data of timings at which each autorickshaw attached to the stand moved out with passengers.
The difficult time is all set to continue for us, was the reaction from Munusamy of Kumbakonam who used to ferry passengers arriving at the mofussil bus stand heading for various temples in the town.
Invariably he used to get one or two pilgrimage trips to destinations such as Oppilliappankovil or Thirunageswaram temples, Swamimalai, Patteeswaram and other places around Kumbakonam. But with public transport facility between the major towns yet to become resume, he and other autorickshaw drivers were pinning their hopes on locals for rides, but a majority of them had their own vehicles to commute within the town.