Transporters protest, demand 50% hike in passenger fare, freight rate

Transporters protesting in Jammu on Tuesday. —Excelsior/Rakesh
Transporters protesting in Jammu on Tuesday. —Excelsior/Rakesh

*Threaten stoppage of supplies after 2 days
Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, June 2: The J&K transporters held strong protest here today and launched chain hunger strike, demanding 50% hike in the passenger fare and freight charges and economic package for the transporters, drivers and conductors.
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A large number of transporters and operators of the public transport, led by their respective heads of their Unions under the leadership of T S Wazir, Chairman All J&K Transport Welfare Association, assembled at Tawi bridge, near Press Club in the morning and held strong protest demonstration. They were carrying banners and placards projecting their issues. They were also raising loud slogans against the Union Government and J&K Administration.
Chairman of the Association said, “We have approached J&K UT Administration several times and also submitted representations regarding the problems of the transporters but nothing has been done so far in this regard. All the transporters, drivers and conductors are suffering badly due to lock down imposed by Government since March 24, 2020,” Wazir added.
He said the Association has already projected its demands which include- revision in passenger fare, freight charges to the extent of at least 50%, economic package for the transporters, drivers and conductors; waive off all transport loans for one year, waive off all fee/taxes, withdraw toll plazas in J&K and Adda and parking fee.
Wazir declared that if these demands of the transporters/ operators are not fulfilled within two days, they will stop the essential and other supplies in J&K. Even the oil / LPG tankers will not be allowed to ply to Kashmir and Ladakh, he added.
Prominent among those who spoke on the occasion included – Vijay Kumar general secretary, Labh Singh from R S Pura Bus Union, Kuldeep Singh from Kathua Bus Union, Mohinder Singh from 2×2 Bus Union, B B Sharma from Chhamb Route Bus Union, Gurdeep Singh from Banihal Route Bus Union, K D Singh president 2×2 Bus Union, Ranjeet Singh president Oil Tankers Union, Davinder Singh from Taxi Union, Vijay Singh Chib from Mini Bus Union, Sher Singh from Poonch Bus Union, Shanti Saroop from Auto Union and heads of several truck Unions.
Later, Wazir and heads of several transport unions were taken into custody by police and shifted to DPL. They were however, released in the evening.