8% hike in passenger fare by Govt not justified: Wazir

Chairman All J&K Transport Welfare Association, TS Wazir addressing press conference in Jammu on Thursday. — Excelsior/Rakesh
Chairman All J&K Transport Welfare Association, TS Wazir addressing press conference in Jammu on Thursday. — Excelsior/Rakesh

Transporters allege harassment by Traffic, RTO staff

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Sept 13: Chairman, All J&K Transport Welfare Association, TS Wazir (Ex-MLC) today said that just 8 % hike given in the passenger fare and very meager in freight charges by the State Transport authorities was not justified as rates of petrol and diesel have gone sky high in last few months.

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Addressing a press conference here today Wazir who was flanked by presidents of Bus, Mini-bus, Oil Tankers, Truck and Taxi Unions here alleged that transporter is being crushed by the Government authorities from all the sides. While the harassment to the transporters/ operators from the Traffic Police and Regional Transport office Jammu and other sub regional offices has increased manifold, the Insurance companies have also increased rates insurance, which ultimately have gone beyond the reach of the transporters and other vehicle owners. Even the taxes have witnessed a steep hike.
He alleged that in RTO office, rates have been fixed for every task by the concerned officials/ officers. The Traffic Police was imposing unnecessary challans on the operators on various petty pretexts. Earlier, there was relaxation up to 5 over-loaded passengers in buses but now there is no such relaxation as such. He said transporters are giving 50% concession to students and handicapped persons but there is no concession to them from Govt. Now, Association has decided not to give any concession to the students in public transport. Wazir urged upon the State Governor and concerned Advisor to take cognizance of the matter and initiate action against such officials.
Referring to steep hike in the rates of petrol and diesel, Wazir said the rates have perhaps gone beyond the control of the Modi Government. There seems to be no intentions of BJP Govt to control soaring prices of petroleum products. It has caused impact on each and every item besides transportation. He demanded that 8 % hike given recently in fare and freight charges was not justified and at least 15-20 % hike be given by the Govt.
Wazir also expressed serious concern over exorbitant rates being charged by the Jammu Railway authorities from the Transport Unions for the parking of their buses, mini-buses and taxies etc. He said worst is the condition of Bus and Mini-bus stand at Railway Station. Water logging always create problem for the passengers and operators but Railway authorities are least bothered to repair the same. It has turned blind eye towards maintenance works. He sought early solution of these issues, cautioning Govt not to force transporters to go on strike.