Transporters threaten strike from Jan 14
Srinagar, Jan 9: Transporters in Kashmir have threatened to go on indefinite strike from January 14 if the Jammu and Kashmir government fails to meet their demands.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the All Kashmir Transporters Welfare Association (AKTWA) here on Sunday.
The Association deferred its strike till January 14 in view of the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh and Lohri celebrations in the state.
The AKTWA, a conglomerate of various mini associations of transporters, is protesting “100 percent increase in taxes on rising fuel prices, lack of sanitary and medical facilities at bus and taxi stands and government’s decision to book licensed drivers under harsher laws in case of road accidents.”
The AKTWA chairman, Haji Bashir Ahmad, said in view of the upcoming Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s birthday on January 11 and Lohri on January 13, the Association decided to defer the strike till January 14.
“We will meet again on January 14 for final decision on strike. If our demands are not met by then, we will go on indefinite strike. There will Chakka Jam from Qazigund to Line of Control,” he said.
Expressing anguish over the “non-seriousness of the state government” towards the demands of the transporters, Ahmad said: “We dropped the plan to call for strike from January 1 after the state government sought 10 days time for considering our demands.”
He said the government’s “adamant attitude” can be gauged from the fact that so far there had been no response from them. “We don’t want general public to bear the burden of tax hike. They (people) are already feeling the heat the recent hike of 13 percent in bus fare. If the government will not slash the taxes we will be left with no option but to go for fare hike without official consent,” he warned.
When contacted the Transport Commissioner, Dr S M Fazlulah distanced himself from the issue.
“Taxes have been increased by the Finance Department and Transport Department has nothing to do with it. Still we have taken up the issue with the government and so far we have not received any response,” he said.
Pertinently, transporters, comprising 6000 buses, 50000 mini-buses, 25000 Sumos observed one day token strike in Kashmir in December 2010, bringing normal life to standstill.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 9 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 9 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 10 Jan 2011 00:00:00 IST
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