Transport strike throws life out of gear in JK
‘We Want Roll Back Of Increase In Passenger Tax’; Govt Indifferent
Srinagar, Dec 27: Kashmir Valley witnessed complete wheel-jam of public transport on Monday in response to 1-day strike called by public transporters who are demanding roll back of recent increase in passenger tax. The transporters are also demanding scrapping of a clause under which a driver can be booked for attempt to murder for a road accident.
Normal life was completely disturbed as all kind of public transport, including long distance buses, went off the roads in support of the call given by All Jammu and Kashmir Transport Association.
To add to common man’s problem, Government had not kept any alternative arrangement for lakhs of commuters who travel in public transport daily across the Valley. Upping the ante later in the day, the transporters threatened to go for an indefinite strike from January 10 if the Government didn’t consider there demands. The transporters even threatened to stop paying various taxes towards the Government.
“Entire private transport is on strike. To push the transport industry towards extinction, Government decided to charge as yearly passenger tax Rs 15600 against the existing Rs 10400 on buses, Rs 2000 against Rs 600 on mini-buses, Rs 2000 against Rs 500 on Sumo and other like vehicles, Rs 300 against Rs 120 on auto-rickshaws. It is injustice keeping in view the situation the Valley has been going through for past three years,” said Muhammad Yousuf Peer, General Secretary, Transport Welfare Association, flanked by leaders and members of various transport associations of the Valley.
Besides, he said, the transporters strongly oppose the Government decision to initiate action against “driver, conductor and owner of a vehicle under Section 304 and 307 (attempt to murder) of RPC and Motors Vehicles Act in case of an accident.”
“The authorities have decided to book a driver holding a license under harsher laws in case of road accidents. The announcement was made by Inspector General (Traffic). Government has turned a complete blind eye to our plight,” Peer said.
The transporters, he said, want state Government to act and fulfill their demands. “They are anti-transport industry. The transporters associations in Jammu as well as Kashmir have unanimously decided to wait till January 10 for a response from the Government. In case our demands are not met we will go for an indefinite strike and stop paying different kinds of taxes including passenger and toll tax,” Peer said.
The transport operators are also demanding increase in fares, exemption from passenger tax for the period the Valley remained shut due to the unrest during the summer months.
A news agency quoting officials of the State Transport Department, said the passenger tax is meant to provide immediate compensation of Rs one lakh to the passengers killed in road accidents and Rs 50,000 to the injured.
Due to rash driving, overloading and violation of rules there has been an increase in the number of the accidents, deaths and injuries in the recent past.
“Road accidents are rare in Kashmir. It is more common in Jammu region. The transporters are already paying 13.5 per cent sales tax and 12.5 per cent tax on fuel in comparison to 8.8 percent tax in other states,” Peer said.
People were furious against the Government’s in-action to keep available proper alternative traffic arrangement for lakhs of commuters who daily travel in public transport. Many office-goers, students and businessmen were seen walking on foot long distances to reach their destinations.
“With Durbar Move Government becomes non-existent in the Valley. Why didn’t Government ply SRTC buses today?” asked Mushtaq Ahmad of Bagh-i-Mehtab, salesman at a garment shop at Lal Chowk.
Normal life was badly hit due to the strike. Except for a rare sight of buses of State Road Transport Corporation plying in the city, Government had not kept any arrangement.
Every day a fleet of around 50,000 public vehicles ferry people in the entire Valley. The fleet includes about 7000 mini buses, 14000 auto-rickshaws, 22000 Sumos and like vehicles and more than 2000 long route buses, said Peer.
“We had cautioned the Government last week about today’s strike. But there was no response from any authority,” he said.
Minister for Transport, Qamar Ali Akhoon, told Greater Kashmir that 70 buses of SRTC plied on different roads in the Valley.
“We agree it is a minor arrangement but our market share is also less,” said General Manager, SRTC, Muhammad Yusuf.
Asked about Government’s plan to negotiate with the transporters and give respite to people, the minister said, “Let us see what happens. I don’t want to say anything this time. The Finance Department is dealing with the taxes,” he said.
About accident clause, the minister said the transporters were claiming that the IG Traffic had made the statement. “Let they approach him and get things cleared.” Asked what had he to say on the issue, Akhoon replied, “We will let you know everything.”
Lastupdate on : Mon, 27 Dec 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 27 Dec 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 28 Dec 2010 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM FRONTPAGE
- Transport strike throws life out of gear in JK
- Life affected in Jammu too
- NON-GOVT PANEL ON KASHMIR INSTITUTED
- Panel suggests politico-economic measures
- Frosty mornings, sunny afternoons, chilly nights
- Tufail’s father looking for asylum
- Demand for civil airport in Srinagar grows louder
- Lobby in GOI playing spoiler: Kamal
- Curfew lifted from Sumbal
- Hizb commander killed: Police
‘We’ll continue to fight for justice till our last breath’
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Dec 27: Police on Monday detained Shakeel Ahmad Ahanger, husband of Neelofar and brother of Aasiya Jan who were raped and murdered last year in south Kashmir’s Shopian town allegedly by men in More
- Srinagar City
Everyday, failure to regulate mere 3000 odd minibuses, takes Srinagar for a ride!
Srinagar, Dec 27: The public transporters’ strike Monday must have put thousands to inconvenience, but the traffic movement across the summer capital, particularly the City centre, remained unbelievably More
Jammu, Dec 27: Describing NCC as the premier national organization for imparting Defence Services oriented training to the country’s youth, the Governor, N N Vohra, said that it inculcates discipline and More
Consumers accuse gas agencies of black marketing
Bandipora, Dec 27: A large number of consumers in this north Kashmir district today complained shortage of cooking gas due to its “black marketing” and “misuse.” Alleging mismanagement on the part More
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Dec 27: Thousands of passengers faced a harrowing time today as thick fog continued to wreak havoc at the IGI airport badly affecting schedules of over 200 flights. Around 30 domestic and More